A member of law enforcement used a racist fabrication and faked a carjacking to cover up his incompetence with a firearm, and then he was fired, a sheriff’s office in Florida announced earlier this week.
Dakotah Wood, 21, was previously employed as a telecommunicator with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. He has since resigned and been charged with myriad crimes, including tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, false reports of commission of crimes, and discharging a firearm in public or residential property.
On June 30, HCSO deputies responded to a call about an attempted carjacking and shooting at an intersection near the Weekiwachee Wildlife Management Area in Weeki Wachee Gardens, a census-designated place near the western coast of Florida.
There, law enforcement found Wood suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg, the HCSO said in a Friday press release.
Initially, he told the responding deputies, he was at nearby Linda Pedersen Park during the early morning hours when he was accosted by unknown men who tried to steal his vehicle, officials said.
“Wood said the men displayed a firearm and made a threat to kill him before shooting him in the thigh,” the press release says. “Wood said the shooter collected the shell casing prior to fleeing the area on foot. After being shot, Wood said he obtained his personal firearm and fired approximately five rounds in self-defense. Wood further advised he believed he hit one of the suspects several times. Following the shooting, Wood advised he relocated from the park to the intersection of Cortez Boulevard and Shoal Line Boulevard to create a safe distance from the suspects.”
He was then taken to a hospital while the forensics unit arrived to process the scene of the crime.
Wood, who is white, said the men who accosted and shot him were Black. But, as it turned out, no other men were involved in the shooting, according to the sheriff’s office.
While being interviewed by detectives at the hospital, Wood allegedly confessed to fabricating the story about the carjacking attempt and the men he earlier claimed had attacked him. Instead, he allegedly said, he was at the park because he was upset about relationship issues with his girlfriend and shot himself while “playing” with his gun.
Wood allegedly said he made up the story because he did not want to get in trouble. That effort, however, had the opposite effect.
“These types of situations are relatively rare, unfortunate, and unpleasant,” Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said in the press release. “My administration, however, has a very public reputation of holding my people accountable for their actions. The public can be confident that when an employee does something of this nature, they will forfeit their ability to be associated with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.”
He was released on $7,000 bond on July 1.
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Dakotah Wood lied after shooting himself in the leg
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