Officer Robert German
Photo credit: Windermere Police Department
A nearby drugstore's surveillance cameras were recording when Windermere police Officer Robert German was gunned down during an encounter with two teenage runaways, according to newly released documents.
However, despite the video, it remains unclear which of the teens fired the shot that killed German, or why the two, seemingly obsessed with starting a life together, chose violence instead.
On Tuesday, the Orange County Sheriff's Office released its report on the case, confirming the core details already reported: Brandon Goode, 18, and Alexandria Hollinghurst, 17, shot the officer and then themselves.
The Sheriff's Office did not release the video of the fatal encounter, citing a Florida law that exempts photos or videos that depict a person's death from the state's public-records law.
But in their report, investigators lay out the officer's final moments in to-the-minute detail as recorded by surveillance cameras at the Walgreens store on Conroy-Windermere Road:
•3:52 a.m.: Goode and Alexandria walked along Horizon Circle to Conroy-Windermere, and then sat on the curb at the corner.
•3:55 a.m.: German pulled his patrol car alongside the teens. Two minutes later, he alerted a dispatcher that he was investigating two suspicious people. He sent his final transmission at 3:59 a.m., asking for backup.
•4 a.m.: German exited his vehicle. Goode and then Alexandria stood. "At that moment" German was shot in the head, the report says, adding that "due to the distance and lighting, it's "difficult to see" which of the teens fired the shot.
Arriving officers heard two more shots and found the teens dead nearby. The investigation determined Goode shot himself first, and then Alexandria shot herself, falling dead on her boyfriend's chest. Found with the teens was a .357 Magnum Ruger Security Six.
Goode's father told investigators he thought Goode's mother, Connie Goode, had a gun, possibly a .357. She told detectives she owned a gun her father had given her but thought her sister had taken it years earlier.
The gun was traced to a purchase in March 1980 by a man in Rockford, Ill., who said he didn't recall Connie Goode but said he had "purchased firearms for people in the past."
Though German's encounter with the teens lasted seconds, the report describes it as the culmination of events begun a month earlier, when Goode and Alexandria had a seemingly minor run-in with deputies in Polk County.
The teens had been living together with Goode's mother, but when they were arrested Feb. 24 on marijuana and alcohol possession charges, Alexandria's parents forbade her from continuing to see Goode.
The next day, she wrote Goode a letter expressing her frustration: "I promise not to do anything irrational baby, for you," she wrote, adding in March 5 note that "there is no one I would rather run away with."
On March 21, both went missing from their homes, leaving behind notes authorities described as suicidal. Goode wrote about getting to "die peacefully" with Alexandria, who wrote in her note she wished she "were never born."
Put on the lookout, an officer soon encountered the teens in a Walgreens in Kissimmee. They fled, nearly striking nearby pedestrians. The next officer to find them, hours later near another Walgreens in Windermere, was German.
Copyright 2014 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
McClatchy-Triune News Service