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.”
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2016 Real News Real Fast, Inc.