DELTONA, Fla. — Authorities have identified a man who died after being shot in the face by a Volusia County Sheriff’s deputy early Wednesday morning.
The shooting happened while deputies served a search warrant for drugs in Deltona, authorities said.
Deputies said they were serving the warrant in a home on Maybrook Drive when Derek Cruice, 26, advanced on a member of the SWAT team who was entering the residence.
“The search warrant was a narcotics search warrant. It’s been an ongoing narcotic investigation,” said Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson.
At 6:32 a.m., Deputy Todd Raible, 36, opened fire one time, shooting Cruice in the face while he was inside the doorway of the home, authorities said. He was pronounced dead a short time later at an Orange City hospital.
Authorities said there were several people inside the home at the time of the incident, but Cruice was the one they were after.
Friends of Cruice told Channel 9 he was not a violent person. Others who were inside the house with him said he didn’t have a weapon and wasn’t wearing a shirt, so it would have been hard for him to even conceal a weapon.
“It’s kind of hard to conceal anything or hide anything when this is all you have on,” said roommate Steven Cochran. “They entered the house and fired.”
One of the men inside the house called the deputy’s actions “murder.”
Other friends of Cruice stopped by the crime scene after hearing of the news of his death.
“I drove by, because it feels surreal and Derek was one of the nicest guys I know,” said friend Devin McGraw. “You know, it’s not fair for this to happen to somebody like Derek.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.
Raible was hired by the department in March 2005.