Florida & polk county , winter haven news

Sebring Florida Man In Custody After Allegedly Shooting & Killing Bradenton Man In Lake Wales On Father’s Day

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The Lake Wales Police Department, with the assistance of the Winter Haven Police Department, located the suspect, Tex Gifford, at 7015 Summit Cir in Winter Haven. Gifford was taken into custody without incident. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact. Detective Ricky Hartwell at the Lake Wales Police Department at 863-678-4223

SECOND UPDATE:


The Lake Wales Police Department has obtained an arrest warrant for Tex Gifford age 40 of Sebring for the murder of Bruce Spry, age 42 of Bradenton. During the investigation, police learned Gifford was involved in a verbal argument with Spry earlier in the evening on Sunday, June 20th. Afterward, Gifford walked away from the immediate area. He then returned within the hour, walking up to Mr. Spry who was sitting on the tailgate of a pickup and began firing at him. Gifford shot Mr. Spry at least six times, in this senseless and heinous act of violence on Father’s Day. Gifford has been charged with first degree murder and police are asking for the public’s help in locating this dangerous individual. Additional charges are pending as this investigation progresses. Gifford should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to immediately call 911 and notify law enforcement of his location. Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $5000.00 reward for any information leading to his arrest.

This remains an active investigation. Police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Ricky Hartwell of the Lake Wales Police Department. Or, if you would like to stay anonymous and be eligible for a CASH REWARD through Heartland Crime Stoppers:
• Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)
• From your cell phone, dial **TIPS
• Visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip,”
• Or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.
You will always remain anonymous when you send a tip through Crime Stoppers and you are eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest.

UPDATE:

At approximately 11:32 p.m., long after most people had returned to their homes after celebrating Father’s Day, Lake Wales Police Officer Emmanuel Viera was patrolling the area of Lincoln Avenue. As he neared B Street, he could hear loud music and drove toward the noise, which became louder as he approached D Street. As he turned onto D Street, he could see a large crowd had gathered near the intersection of Dr. J.A. Wiltshire Avenue in the parking lot of a vacant and dilapidated building. This location is in the middle of a residential neighborhood with nearby commercial businesses.

Officer Viera was approximately half a block away when he heard multiple gunshots and saw the crowd running from the area. He rushed toward the gunfire and requested available units to come assist. As he approached the crowd, citizens began to shout for him and directed him to the victim. Officer Viera located the victim, a 42-year-old male from Bradenton unresponsive at the tailgate of a pickup truck. The Lake Wales Fire Department and Polk County Fire Rescue arrived on scene and attempted lifesaving measures to no avail.

Officers soon learned a second person had been shot during this incident and was at a local hospital receiving treatment. This victim, a 28-year-old Lake Wales man, was treated and later released from the hospital. Police believe this person was unintentionally struck during the reckless gunfire.

This remains a very active investigation and detectives are working around the clock to identify the shooter and determine motive. Police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Ricky Hartwell at Lake Wales Police Department.

Or, if you would like to stay anonymous and be eligible for a CASH REWARD through Heartland Crime Stoppers:
• Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)
• From your cell phone, dial **TIPS
• Visit the website www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on “Submit A Tip,”
• Or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.

You will always remain anonymous when you send a tip through Crime Stoppers and you are eligible for a cash reward if your information leads to an arrest.

ORIGINAL:

Lake Wales Police Department detectives are conducting an active homicide investigation, which occurred in the late evening hours on Sunday, June 20, 2021. The shooting occurred in the area of D Street and Dr. J A Wiltshire Avenue. At this time, one person is deceased and a second is being treated for a gunshot wound. Detectives are in the early stages of this investigation and are looking for anyone who may have knowledge of this incident. Police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Ricky Hartwell at the Lake Wales Police Department at 863-678-4223 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).

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