Charges dropped against Black man who shot at Florida cops issuing search warrant
Corey Marioneaux Jr. won't face attempted murder charges after shooting at who he thought were intruders in his home
A Black father will not face charges after he fired a shot at police officers that he mistook for intruders in his Florida home in February, a local prosecutor decided.
The Office of the State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida announced last month that attempted murder charges brought against Corey Marioneaux Jr. had been dropped.
After conducting a full review of the incident, authorities determined that there was not enough evidence to prove that Marioneaux had known he was firing at law enforcement who arrived at his Pensacola, Florida home to serve a search warrant, according to State Attorney Ginger Bowden Madden.
“Careful review of the case has determined that there is insufficient proof to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Marioneaux knew that he was firing at a police officer,” she said in a press release announcing the move. “Knowledge is an essential element of the offense.”
Lawyers for Marioneaux, who urged that prosecutors not charge their client from the beginning, welcomed the news in a statement saying that an arrest should not have occurred in the first place.
“If officers with the Pensacola Police Dept. had simply taken a moment to fully evaluate the situation, he wouldn’t have been arrested in the first place,” James Bryant, Carlos Moore, Rodney Diggs and Reganel Reeves said, as reported by the Pensacola News Journal. “Mr. Marioneaux is completely innocent and deserves to have his record cleared and good name restored.”
That road to restoration could be a rough and bumpy one for Marioneaux, who was placed on paid administrative leave by his employers, Navy Federal Credit Union, after he was arrested for the attempted murder of a police officer, according to news reports. Marioneaux’s family and attorney had said he was later fired.
The family described Marioneaux as a licensed gun owner with no felony on his record.
At 5 a.m. on February 3, Marioneaux fired one shot at a SWAT team member that entered his home, prompting a detective to return fire at Marioneaux. No one was injured by the gunfire, the Journal reports.
Marioneaux surrendered quickly and told officers he was sorry, but he was arrested for the attempted murder of a police officer, according to the news outlet.
During the incident, his 1-year-old son, Cylen, who the police had placed in a patrol vehicle, was severely injured after he fell out of the car when an officer opened the door.
Marioneaux’s family has announced it plans to sue the Pensacola Police Department and others in relation to the case.
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