Officer Robert German
Officer Robert German
Photo credit: Windermere Police Department
A series of revelations on Monday about the teens suspected of gunning down Windermere police Officer Robert German shed light on their past and the days before the killing but did little to explain why the young officer lost his life.
Among the new details: Authorities said the pair, Brandon Goode and Alexandria Hollinghurst, left behind suicide notes, were considered missing and endangered and had fled from police less than 24 hours before the fatal encounter.
Meanwhile, public records also revealed an incident from Goode's past in which he was accused of menacing his mother with an ax at her home in Polk County.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office confirmed the existence of the suicide notes in a statement Monday afternoon. The Sheriff's Office wouldn't detail the content.
"While Goode and Hollinghurst died of what is believed to be gunshot wounds from apparent suicide, we are awaiting the Medical Examiner's findings for the exact cause of death," the agency's statement said.
The Sheriff's Office confirmed that they are "officially considered suspects" in the killing of German, who called for backup after encountering them about 4 a.m. Saturday and was later found gunned down. Authorities have not revealed a motive for his killing.
Goode, 18, and Hollinghurst, 17, were found dead in some brush about a block from where German was found.
Another development in the case came Monday morning, when authorities found the teens' vehicle in the parking lot of a Florida Bank of Commerce branch on Vine Street in Kissimmee. It was not clear why the vehicle was at the bank, but deputies had the vehicle towed as evidence.
It also wasn't clear how the teens traveled from Kissimmee to Windermere, nearly 20 miles away.
Kissimmee police did confirm that the pair was in the city on Friday morning and were approached by an officer who spotted their 2003 silver Isuzu Rodeo in a Walgreens parking lot about 10 a.m.
Authorities were on the lookout for Goode and Hollinghurst, who had been reported as missing and endangered because of the suicidal notes they had written. Goode told the Kissimmee officer that he was in town trying to sell jewelry for cash, a report states.
When the officer asked Goode to get out of the Rodeo, Goode took off, driving erratically through the parking lot -- nearly striking a family walking with a child in a stroller.
The officer issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for the SUV and got warrants for the teens' arrest.
Their next known law-enforcement encounter was with German.
Records: Goode threatened mom
Other records released Monday by Polk County authorities began to fill in some blanks about Goode's and Hollinghurst's pasts.
When he was 16, Goode painted his face black, covered the windows in his Davenport home with blankets, armed himself with an ax and then waited for his mother to arrive.
When Connie Goode walked in the house, she told Polk County deputies, Brandon pinned her between a table and a wall and demanded she accept his father's divorce settlement. The ax rested on his shoulder.
Brandon Goode was arrested on a felony assault charge during the October 2012 incident. It was unclear what became of the criminal case since juvenile court records are not public.
On Monday, a woman who answered the door at Goode's home in the Polo Park East community off U.S. Highway 27 declined to comment and asked an Orlando Sentinel reporter to leave.
A neighbor, 83-year-old John Meyers, said Goode and his mother moved in with her parents after Goode's father divorced her. Her father had a lawn service that was popular among locals, Meyers said.
"Brandon was always with his grandfather. He'd go with him whenever he mowed the grass," Meyers said, adding: "It's so sad he got derailed, I guess you say. He must've gotten in with the wrong crowd."
Meyers said he didn't remember seeing Hollinghurst but had seen Goode recently. He seemed normal, Meyers said.
Last month, Goode and Hollinghurst were arrested on drug and alcohol charges after a traffic stop.
A Polk County deputy spotted Goode driving with a broken taillight Feb. 24, a report states. The deputy spotted a glass pipe and asked to search the vehicle, discovering marijuana baggies and several pipes inside, according to the report.
Goode told the deputy he and Hollinghurst, who is described in the report as his girlfriend, would smoke marijuana in his vehicle because they were living with his mother and didn't want her to know about it.
Goode was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, possession of alcohol by a person under 21 and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hollinghurst was also arrested, according a sworn statement.
Brandon Goode entered into a pretrial diversion program to resolve the drug case last week.
German, 31, was a Windermere officer for five years. Visitation is from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Northland, A Church Distributed in Longwood. Funeral services will be open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday at Northland.
Burial will be in Oaklawn cemetery in Sanford.
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