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Warrant says police sought drugs in shooting

Associated Press
Published August 8, 2005

SUNRISE - Police officers who shot and killed a man in his house had a search warrant and were looking for drugs, a newspaper report Sunday said.

Anthony Andrew Diotaiuto, 23, of Sunrise, was pronounced dead on the scene of his home Friday.

Police spokesman Lt. Robert Voss said Diotaiuto was armed and possibly pointed his gun at police when two SWAT team officers shot him.

Police thought there was drug dealing going on in the home, and that there might be violence because Diotaiuto had a valid concealed weapons permit, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Sunday.

According to the search warrant, the police were looking for money, bookkeeping records, firearms and other evidence that Diotaiuto was a drug dealer. The warrant was provided to the newspaper by Diotaiuto's family.

Marijuana and drug paraphernalia, along with firearms and a BB gun, were listed as items seized, but the warrant did not specify the amount of drugs or what type of paraphernalia was confiscated.

Sunrise Detective Michael Calise signed the search warrant, the newspaper reported.

Phone calls to the Sunrise Police Department representativewere not returned on Sunday.

"I'm borderline insane because of all I've had to deal with," Marlene Diotaiuto, Anthony's mother said. "I can't believe that they have denied this society and his family and his friends all the beauty that he brought us every day."

Friends said Diotaiuto was not a drug dealer and described him a hardworking and caring person. Outside his home on Saturday, a poster apparently addressed to police read: "Did you find what you were looking for?"

Flowers, stuffed animals and candles were part of a memorial erected on the sidewalk by mourners.

Police have said Diotaiuto had one previous arrest in 1998 for marijuana possession in Cooper City.

[Last modified August 8, 2005, 02:45:22]

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