Family demands answers after police-involved shooting that led to man’s death

Barry Gedeus shot, killed by Fort Lauderdale police officer in March

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A family is demanding answers after a police-involved shooting that led to the death of a man in March.

“I’m broken, confused, I want answers,” Alexis Ross said.

Ross stood at the makeshift memorial in the vacant lot where her 27-year-old fiancée, Barry Gedeus, was shot and killed by a Fort Lauderdale police officer.

“You could have arrested him, maced him, whipped him, but you shot him,” Ross said.

Gedeus was on his bicycle in the 2300 block of Northwest Sixth Place in Fort Lauderdale. His family claims he was heading home as police in the area were searching for an alleged sexual assault suspect.

Police were looking for a black male with dreadlocks -- Gedeus apparently fit the description. The family has hired an attorney.

“He was struck by a police cruiser,” family attorney Lee Friedland said. “After he was struck by the cruiser, the officer reaches out and attempts to grab Mr. Gedeus who, in fear for his life, essentially, heads down this road, and is shot, and what we know, completely unarmed.”

Friedland said Gedeus was shot ten times.

But Fort Lauderdale police said there was a violent scuffle between the two, that officer Robert Morris was injured, had to be taken to a hospital and has had several surgeries since.

Because he’s recovering, police said he’s been unable to give a statement about what happened for the investigation.

“Is there any indication that Mr. Gedeus made any kind of move, aggressive move toward the officer? Was armed?” Local 10 News’ Jeff Weinsier asked Friedland.

“No,” Friedland said.

“Is there any DNA or any kind of evidence that links your client to the sexual assault?” Weinsier asked.

“None,” Friedland said.

The Broward Sheriff's Office confirmed to Local 10 News that the alleged sexual assault victim picked Gedeus out of a photo lineup, which must have happened after he was shot and killed because police were in that area right after the alleged incident happened.

Morris is on administrative leave. This is not the first time Morris shot and killed a suspect in the line of duty. In 2008, Morris shot and killed Timothy Brown, who was brandishing a weapon outside of a vehicle, but a grand jury found his use of force justifiable.

About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.