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Domestic Dispute Leads to Shooting Death of Beloved Firefighter

LAKELAND (POLK) – Residents of neighboring Sumter County are mourning the death of a beloved Fire Rescue Lieutenant, after he was shot down in cold blood during domestic dispute.

According to Polk County Officials, around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, deputies responded to an address on Alderman Road after receiving reports of a shooting. Upon arrival, deputies found 27-year-old Clifford Owen Cofer, II, of Winter Haven deceased in the passenger seat of a Nissan Rogue.

Through their investigation, detectives learned that 27-year-old Kayla Stayner of Lakeland had recently ended a 3 ½-year relationship with 31-year-old Caleb J. McKinney, also of Lakeland. Stayner and McKinney have an infant child together who was inside the residence at the time of the shooting.

McKinney has been distraught since their breakup four months ago and even threatened suicide last month.

Stayner recently started dating Cofer and on Wednesday the couple and her 5-year-old son traveled to McKinney’s residence to bring medicine for their child.

Knowing that Cofer would be coming to his house, McKinney became upset, loaded his firearm, and placed it in his pocket.  He then called a next-door neighbor with whom McKinney had a long friendship, and the friend came to the residence.  McKinney didn’t tell his friend he was armed, nor was the gun in plain view.

When the trio arrived at the residence, Stayner exited the vehicle and walked toward the front door, leaving Cofer sitting in the passenger seat, and her son sitting in the back passenger seat.

As Stayner approached the front door McKinney came out of the home and walked straight to the car where he began firing multiple times at Cofer.  Mckinney then turned and pointed the gun at Stayner after she began yelling that her son was in the car. Stayner’s son was not injured it he shooting.

After killing Cofer, McKinney went back into the house where he barricaded himself.

McKinney’s friend and Stayner removed her son from the car and contacted called 911.  When deputies arrived, McKinney’s friend handed a cell phone to Deputy Ben Bates and told him McKinney was on the phone. During the conversation, Deputy Bates was able to successfully convince McKinney to exit the residence where he was taken into custody without incident.

McKinney admitted to the murder during questioning. Prior to this incident, McKinney had never been arrested.

McKinney is charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm – Domestic Violence, and Shooting into an Occupied Conveyance.

We spoke to a fellow firefighter who said “We just want everyone to know what a great friend and person we all lost. He was one of the good ones.” He went on to say “He was very young and well respected firefighter who loved his job and was like a little brother to a lot of his fellow firefighters.”

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  • A life for a life. Verdict LIFE!

    Saturday, 13 August 2016, 1:59 pm
  • so sad. when its over its over. move on. it hurts but now life is really going to hurt for him. completely the wrong choice.

    Friday, 5 August 2016, 6:42 pm
  • So senseless….?
    Rest in peace Mr. Cofer ?

    Friday, 5 August 2016, 10:24 am
  • this is absolutely horrific!!! Prayers to everyone who’s world has been turned upside down because of this POS!
    What warning did the man have that he was going to die? Nothing. He did nothing wrong, even stayed in the vehicle. He did not approach the home, did not confront its resident. This was senseless, barbaric, and completely stupid!
    What did he expect to accomplish from this? Leaving his child scared, and I’m sure traumatized. His ex in fear for the life of her child, current boyfriend, and herself. Also, why is he not being charged with child endangerment? The child was in the vehicle when it all happened!

    Friday, 5 August 2016, 9:46 am
  • Moral of the story is, Don’t monkey with another monkey’s monkey or you’ll wind up with a gorilla on your hands.

    Friday, 5 August 2016, 8:43 am
  • Time to bring back Old Sparky.

    Friday, 5 August 2016, 8:13 am
  • Thank you for your service Lt Cofer. My prayers to his fellow firefighters as you mourn the loss of a fellow friend co worker

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 11:40 pm
  • Maybe it was too soon after the breakup for her to bring the new boyfriend to the old boyfriends house.

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 10:24 pm
  • POS Coward.

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 8:47 pm

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 6:16 pm
  • He should rot!

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 6:15 pm
  • This is so sad….especially having a young child witnessing the whole thing! Prayers for the family in your time of bereavement…God bless you all.

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 5:59 pm
  • OMG, this is so very tragic and sad. Prayers for his family, friends and fire fighters It is unbelievable.

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 5:13 pm
  • And this pig lives on. Death sentenance is the answer…..

    Thursday, 4 August 2016, 4:32 pm

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