Broward County

Broward Sheriff Gives Details on Fatal Shooting When He was 14

Gregory Tony says 1993 shooting was self-defense

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Broward County's sheriff is giving new details about a fatal shooting that happened when he was 14, while the family on the other end of the shooting is speaking out.

On Monday on social media, 27-year-old Melanie Rodriguez posted about the void left in her life by not having her father.

"I was only a baby at 5 months old. What I can comment on is the void he has left me and what it feels like to not have my father!" Rodriguez wrote.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony addresses a new report that claims he shot and killed a man in Philadelphia when he was a teenage. NBC 6 reporter Sasha Jones with the latest.

The Philadelphia newspapers covering the 1993 shooting death of then 18-year-old Hector Rodriguez called it a joke that turned sour, and reported about a 14-year-old who surrendered. That 14-year-old is now the top law enforcement officer in Broward County, Sheriff Gregory Tony.

“We had an enormous amount of murders and violence and gangs in that community,” Tony said Monday.

Tony spoke to NBC 6 about that day in his neighborhood, an area just north of downtown Philadelphia, that for years has been a haven for crime.

Tony said Rodriguez was a violent aggressor who threatened him and his brother.

"He pulled a gun from his waist band and threatened to kill both of us. You know, I was 14, my brother may have been 15 or 16 years of age. We were frightened to death, we took off. We ran into to the house. He followed into the home. I grabbed my father's gun and fortunately I was able to shoot him before he shot us," Tony said.

Rodriguez’s daughter questions Tony’s version of what happened and the Philadelphia papers back then reported a 14-year-old was charged with murder, and the shooting was the result of an argument.

However, Tony said he was never arrested and simply went to the police station to provide a statement then was allowed to leave with his father.

"I had to go in and provide a statement related to it and fortunately the judicial system that operates in Pennsylvania examined it and decided that this is 100 percent a self-defense case," Tony said.

Maritza Carrasquillo, who was Hector's girlfriend at the time of the shooting, recounted the events in a lengthy Facebook post.

"Some may say this is an old case or Greg was a kid, he was acquitted, he's changed and all these things are great," she wrote in part. "I'm glad for that, however it doesn't change the fact that he killed another human being. This will never bring Hector back, he didn't get a second chance. IDC if it happened 27 years ago, the pain that his mother feels is still fresh."

Tony’s involvement in Rodriguez's death was brought to light by Florida Bulldog reporter Dan Christensen. Christensen said the only official document he could locate was the report by Philadelphia police.

"The case report is all sealed up there because this was a juvenile matter and it seems to me that the people of Broward County are owed some explanation here," Christensen said.

As to what happened to the rest of the documents to shed more light on this, legal experts say many times with juvenile cases the records are sealed and later expunged. Tony said even he doesn’t have any of the documents and reached out to his lawyer back then to see if he had any records and the answer was no.

The sheriff said he did not inform the governor about this event until the weekend and wasn’t asked during the vetting process.

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