“The entire Geico community is hurting today,” a co-worker said after word spread that the couple involved in Wednesday’s murder-suicide in Lakeland were long-time Geico employees Mark Waggoner, 50, and Heather Waggoner, 41. Police haven’t confirmed the identities, but said a man shot and killed his estranged wife at her Oakbridge apartment before driving home and turning his handgun on himself.
Crime / Justice
A man shot and killed his estranged wife at the WillowBrooke Apartments in Oakbridge and then drove 15 miles to his home in unincorporated Polk and committed suicide, according to Lakeland police. The names of the assailant and victim have not been released yet.
It’s said that the wheels of justice move slowly, which is the status quo in the 18-month-old second-degree murder case of former Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn. More
The Polk’s Sheriff’s Office is asking for help finding Malakia Askew, 17, wanted after somebody shot a handgun into a yard full of people on Norfolk Circle east of Lakeand and wounded one of them early Friday. He “should be considered armed and dangerous. He has been known to frequent the Griffin Avenue Apartments in north Lakeland,” PCSO said on Facebook. Anybody with information is asked to contact PCSO at 863-298-6200 or, for a reward, Heartland Crime Stoppers at Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com.
Thursday was extremely busy on the police and criminal courts beat in Lakeland. In addition to the death of an LPD officer, these stories were reported:
- HOMICIDE: Deputies are searching for Celso Omar Sanchez Acosta, 29, in the shooting death of Henry Fernandez-Soto, 24; the two had a dispute involving a horse theft | ABC Action News
- CHILD DEATH: Kyle Reese, 26, faces aggravated child abuse charges in the death of a 2-month-old infant in his care | 10 News
- DUI FATALITY ARREST: Rodney Wimberly, 53, was charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in the April 2019 crash on Bartow Road that killed his girlfriend, Shannon Oglesby, 47 | Fox 13 News
- HIT-AND-RUN CONVICTION: A jury convicted William Hull, 36, of failing to remain at the scene of a crash with serious bodily injuries in a September 2017 incident that knocked an 11-year-old girl into a ditch near Lake Parker | The Ledger
- LPN ARREST: Tammy Konkol-Townsend of Lakeland was arrested on drug charges after a Ring camera caught images of her taking fentanyl and hydrocodone meant for a Good Shepherd Hospice patient, according to a Polk Sheriff’s arrest report. In addition, her licensed practical nurse and radiologic technician licenses have been placed on emergency restriction | The Miami Herald
News Channel 8 looks at the eight addresses in Lakeland where crimes are reported most often. The locations and explanations offered by LPD Assistant Chief Sam Taylor: Lakeland Regional Health (many victims end up there); five retail locations, including both Walmarts, Lakeland Square Mall, Circle K at Florida and 14th; and McDonald’s on Memorial Boulevard (shoplifting and parking lot accidents dominate); Lakewood Terrace Apartments on 14th Street; and Talbot House (homeless people are often victims and the organization “facilitates the reporting.”) Overall crime continues declining, Taylor says.
Neighbors describe the three people who died in a Christmas Eve murder-suicide at the 3009 Atlanta Ave. house where police found four children after the shootings took place. Two of the children were daughters of Leighton Josephs, 30, who police say was the gunman, and victim Rachel Ramsey, 30. The other two, a boy and a girl, were the children of the other victim, 27-year-old Christopher Pine, a friend of Ramsey. ALSO: Bay News 9 coverage
Community organizations are reaching out to help the four children who were removed from a home on Atlanta Avenue where three adults died in a murder-suicide Christmas Eve. Police released the name of the gunman but not the other two victims; however, WFLA reports the identities after talking with relatives and the Medical Examiner’s Office.
4 P.M. WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Three adults died of gunshot wounds in a murder-suicide before 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve in a house on Atlanta Avenue near Edgewood Drive, and four children under age 10 were safely removed, Lakeland Police report. More