Police: Fla. officer shot cop girlfriend in head, killed himself

No criminal charges will be filed against Sgt. Amy Young in the shooting death of her boyfriend, Officer Luis Monroig, who shot her and then himself

By Jessica Lipscomb, Ryan Mills
Naples Daily News

NAPLES, Fla. — No criminal charges will be filed against Naples police Sgt. Amy Young in the shooting death of her boyfriend, Officer Luis "Dave" Monroig, the State Attorney's Office announced October 30.

Monroig was fatally shot July 9 during a domestic dispute at Young's Estero home. Young was shot in the face but survived.

Officer Luis Monroig and Sgt. Amy Young.
Officer Luis Monroig and Sgt. Amy Young. (Naples Police Department Image)

"After our review of the investigation and consideration of applicable Florida law, we have determined that no charges will be filed in this matter," State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Samantha Syoen said in a statement.

Monroig shot Young then killed himself, a State Attorney's Office investigation found. Still, investigators said "why he fired the shot that wounded Young is unknown."

From early on, Young's attorney, Donald Day, has said Young committed no crime.

"We found out about the investigation earlier today, but of course it was no surprise to us because we knew what happened," he said Thursday.

A three-page memo gives the following account of the hours leading up to the shooting:

On Tuesday, July 8, Young returned to her home in the Lakes of Estero community after a night out with friends. A witness told the Lee County Sheriff's Office that Young had driven home and appeared to be intoxicated.

Upon Young's return, she and Monroig were involved in an altercation in the front yard. It's unclear from reports if the altercation was verbal or physical.

Both Young and Monroig had been drinking. Young tested positive for alcohol and benzodiazepine, which can be found in anxiety medications, and Monroig had been drinking while at home.

Young said as the argument escalated, she was pushed to the ground, hit her head and passed out. After regaining consciousness, Young said Monroig was still upset with her. She said she became afraid and grabbed her police-issued gun from the nightstand.

Young said Monroig yelled, "Really, Amy!" and sometime after that, shots were fired. Young could not recall how she was shot but remembered waking up on the bedroom floor next to Monroig, who was dead.

Young eventually was able to drag herself out of the bedroom and out the front door, where she was found by her daughter, who called 911. Six of the couple's children from previous marriages were at the home that night.

Investigators found that Monroig, who was left handed, had gunshot residue on his left hand and suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of his head. Dr. Robert Pfalzgraf, the Lee County medical examiner, ruled the death a suicide.

(Lee County Sheriff's Office Image)

A crime scene investigation found Young was shot on the left side of her head, with the wound showing a downward trajectory from above her left ear to her chin.

Monroig's police-issued Walther PPS 40-caliber semi-automatic firearm was the only weapon in the home that had been fired that night, investigators said.

Records show Monroig had been secretly recording his phone calls, including those the night of July 8. State Attorney's officials said they could not release the recordings because of Florida law but said it was clear "that Monroig sounded angry and became increasingly irate as time passed."

Had Monroig lived, there was evidence that could have led to an attempted murder charge, according to the Sheriff's Office. In light of his death, the case has been closed.

Young allowed herself to be interviewed only once before invoking her right to an attorney. After that, she refused requests for interviews and for walk-throughs of the crime scene, according to reports.

After her first statement, Young was "medically incapacitated" and still recovering from the shooting, Day said.

"We didn't feel it was appropriate to have her give a second statement," he said. "She'd already given a full statement and fully cooperated."

But Ray Bass, an attorney representing Monroig's ex-wife Nina Diaz-Monroig, said he found it concerning that Young refused to be interviewed more than once.

"I do know this: When someone stops involvement with a police investigation, that's a red flag," he said. "Whether that person has a lawyer or not, it's a red flag, and that flag's still waving as far as I can tell."

(Lee County Sheriff's Office Image)

Bass raised the possibility that Monroig fired his weapon in self-defense, stressing the State Attorney's conclusion that it was unclear why Young was shot.

Bass, a former Collier County Sheriff's Office investigator, said he was unable to get in touch with Diaz-Monroig October 30. Attempts to reach Diaz-Monroig for comment at her Marco Island home were unsuccessful.

No one answered the door October 30 at Young's Estero house. Neighbors said Young has been back in her home for a couple of months.

"She still feels terribly about this," Day said. "They lived together as a family and she's worried about what impact this will have on the children."

Naples Mayor John Sorey said it has not been good having a cloud of suspicion hanging over Young for the better part of four months.

But he said he respects the Sheriff's Office's and the State Attorney's Office's process.

"I would have liked to have it a lot sooner to get this behind us, but it is what it is," Sorey said.

He said he is concerned about allegations in the report that Young had been drinking and driving before the shooting.

"Obviously we don't have as a society any tolerance for drinking and driving," Sorey said. "Hopefully the hospital did a blood alcohol analysis."

Day said the witness's depiction of Young driving while intoxicated is inaccurate. Any medications found in her system were legally prescribed, he said.

Naples Police Chief Tom Weschler reviewed the State Attorney's Office memo and said he stands behind the Sheriff's Office investigation, although he had not seen a full report.

(Lee County Sheriff's Office Image)

"The next step for us will be to actually get a copy of the report and review that," he said. "We'll be looking to see if there are any administrative issues in that report that need to be addressed."

Young remains on leave from the department. Weschler said he hasn't spoken to her since before the shooting. The city's human resources department is continuing with its fitness for duty examination, he said.

Day said he expects Young will be fully reinstated.

"There were a lot of negative things said and people jumped to a lot of conclusions, but it turns out she was in fact the victim here," Day said.

The announcement is an opportunity for the department and its officers to start putting the shooting behind them, Weschler said.

"There's no win in this," he said. "It's all about the families and their hopefully having the ability to move forward."

Copyright 2014 the Naples Daily News 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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