The Florida State Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday it will not prosecute a Pensacola man who fired a shot at a SWAT officer when police were executing a search warrant at his home Feb. 3. The round struck an officer’s ballistic shield and no officers were injured.
Corey Marioneaux Jr., was originally arrested and charged with attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, but there was not enough evidence to establish that he knew he shot at officers, WKRG reports.
A statement from the State Attorney’s Office said after reviewing the case, no criminal prosecution will be commenced against Corey Marioneaux Jr., who fired a shot a single shot from a 9mm semi-automatic handgun at officers as they entered his home.
The statement reports officers knocked and announced their presence by shouting “Pensacola Police search warrant” three times before they used a ram to breach the front door about 5 a.m.
“Marioneaux, apparently awoken by the knock-and-announce, fired once from the central hallway of his residence at the exact moment the door burst open,” the statement reads. It further details that the shot fired by Marioneaux struck the tempered glass window of a ballistic shield and the officer returned fire by discharging one shot.
After firing the shot at the officers, Marioneaux immediately put his firearm down and said that he was sorry and that he didn’t know it was the police. According to the State Attorney’s Office, he said that he thought the police were people who were looking for him and he was apparently fearful of others in the community who he felt intended him harm.
“Careful review of the case has determined that there is insufficient proof to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Marioneaux knew that he was firing at a police officer. Knowledge is an essential element of the offense. The evidence would show that Marioneaux fired the shot at the exact moment the door burst open. Under the unique set of circumstances, he did not have adequate time to perceive and appreciate that it was a uniformed police officer equipped with a ballistic shield on the other side of the door. The manner in which he repudiated his intent to fire upon a police officer substantiates his claim that he did not know it was the police when he fired the shot,” the press release stated.
After Marioneaux was taken into custody on the morning of the incident his children, ages 1 and 3, were placed in the care of the police department until their mother was called to pick them up, Pensacola News Journal reports. While in the care of police, the younger son fell out of the backseat of a police vehicle, injuring his face. Marioneaux is filing a lawsuit against the police department.
“We are now focused on getting to the bottom of exactly how Mr. Marioneaux’s one-year-old baby boy was dropped on his head and seriously injured during this botched raid. Our hope is that the Pensacola Police Dept. will quickly provide accurate information regarding how and why this occurred,” attorneys representing Marioneaux said in a statement.