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Lake Wales
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Lake Wales PD & PCSO Investigating Incident On MLK Blvd


Update 4 3:30pm: Statement from Lake Wales Police Department :

The Lake Wales Police Department is investigating two shootings that occurred around 7:00 a.m. this morning (Wednesday, August 3, 2022) the fatal shooting of LWD Officer Jared Joyner’s canine partner
Max, and an officer-involved shooting that occurred subsequent to that.

Preliminary information so far is as follows: At 5:06 a.m. this morning, the PCSO Emergency Communications Center (which answers 911 and dispatches for LWPD) received a 911 call from a victim on Seminole Avenue in Lake Wales who reported that the suspect, 57-year-old Earnest Borders (DOB 3/27/1965), had dragged her out of a car, choked her, hit her head on the concrete,
and then fired a gun multiple times outside her apartment. A second 911 call came in also asking for law enforcement to respond after shots were heard.

When officers responded to the scene, Borders had fled from the area. They found nine (9) shell casings where the victim reported that he was firing the gun.

Borders was later seen returning to the area several hundred feet west of MLK Blvd. near the railroad tracks. LWPD Officers responded, and Borders ran into and concealed himself in a wooded area. LWPD K-9 Officer Jared Joyner and his K-9 partner Max searched the area, along with other officers. Max located Borders concealed in a densely
wooded area. Borders refused to comply with repeated commands by the officers to show his hands, and then he shot and murdered K-9
Max. The officers defended themselves by returning fire at Borders, who was still armed with a stolen Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun.
The officers performed life-saving measures on Borders, and he was transported to a local hospital where he was declared deceased. K-9
Max succumbed to his injuries at the scene. He has been transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office for a necropsy.

Borders’ criminal history includes violent crimes, with 24 prior felonies, 4 prior misdemeanors, and 18 felony convictions. He has been sentenced to Florida State Prison three times. His previous
charges include possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, battery, assault, grand theft (multiple counts), numerous failures to
appear in court, theft (numerous), violation of probation (multiple counts), larceny, tampering with a witness, dealing in stolen property
(multiple counts), and driving while license suspended. Officer Joyner is 40 years old and an 11-year veteran of LWPD. His K-9 partner Max, a Belgian Malinois, was paired with him in December 2015. K-9 Max was seven years old.

The Lake Wales Police Department has requested the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to conduct the shooting investigation. Standard protocol for officer-involved shootings includes four
independent investigations: the PCSO Homicide Unit will conduct a death investigation, Lake Wales Police will conduct an administrative inquiry, the State Attorney’s Office will conduct a separate
investigation, and the 10th District Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an investigation to determine the causes and manners of death for Borders and K-9 Max.


Update 3 at 12:03pm: Lake Wales Police Chief Chris Velasquez will brief the media at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, Wednesday, August 3, 2022 and Sheriff Grady Judd will be in attendance, at the Lake Wales Police Department located at 133 East Tillman Avenue in Lake Wales regarding the shooting death of a police canine and a LWPD officer-involved shooting. The suspect is deceased. He was a violent convicted felon. No other officers were injured except the canine, Max.

Update:The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Lake Wales Police Department are investigating a shooting that occurred in the city this morning, during which an LWPD canine was murdered by a violent suspect.

We will have a procession from the Lake Wales Police Department located at 133 East Tillman Avenue at 11:45 a.m. this morning, August 3, 2022, to transport fallen canine Max from LWPD to the Medical Examiners Office.

Max’s handler is LWPD Officer Jared Joyner and he will be leading the procession in his agency vehicle with his fallen partner inside.

Lake Wales, Florida- The Lake Wales Daily got tips of an incident on Martin Luther King Blvd in Lake Wales.

We reached out to LWPD and they advised “The community is safe. There is no threat to the public.” Per Deputy Chief David Black. No further details have been released.

According to multiple witnesses multiple gunshots were heard early this morning.

We will update this article as more information is released.

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