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Deputy kills teen driving at him

By ABHI RAGHUNATHAN
Published January 5, 2007


SEMINOLE - After watching a suspected theft at an ATM, Pinellas sheriff's Sgt. Dan Carron drove up and blocked a car with four teenagers inside in its parking space.

But when Carron got out of his pickup and approached the Mitsubishi Mirage at 1:17 a.m. Thursday, the car accelerated toward him, the Sheriff's Office said.

Carron fired his .45-caliber Glock once. The bullet flew through the Mirage's open front passenger window and hit the driver in the head.

Brian Dorry, 19, died in the parking lot of the Park Place shopping center.

The car hit Carron's pickup, then swerved out of control before crashing into a small embankment that divides two shopping centers. Dorry's girlfriend, 18-year-old Samantha Gerke, required minor medical attention. Erin Staley, 16, was not injured.

Kevin Dorry, 17, Brian's younger brother, was charged with grand theft. He had triggered the incident by approaching a nearby ATM while wearing a hood, the Sheriff's Office said. When Carron flicked on his lights and identified himself as a Sheriff's Office employee, Kevin Dorry got out of the Mirage before it accelerated and tried to run away. He was arrested after the shooting.

Investigation starts

Carron is on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure while the State Attorney's Office investigates the incident, along with the Sheriff's Office Homicide and Internal Affairs units.

The Sheriff's Office allows deputies to use deadly force if they perceive a deadly threat to themselves or others. Policy also states that deputies should not place themselves in harm's way when approaching vehicles.

A woman who answered the door at Dorry's house said the family didn't want to comment. Gerke, Brian Dorry's girlfriend, also declined to comment.

"It's crazy," said Christina Sullenbarger, 23, a former neighbor of Brian Dorry's. "He seemed like a really quiet guy."

In fact, court records show that Brian Dorry had racked up a series of arrests on charges such as larceny, burglary and grand theft. Just last month, he was found to violate the terms of his community control supervision.

When deputies searched the Dorrys' Seminole home last year, according to court records, they found a stolen remote control airplane and other items. His mother found marijuana seeds in the closet that Brian and Kevin shared, court records show.

Brothers were known

Burglary detectives with the Sheriff's Office have known about the Dorry brothers for months.

According to court records, one of their friends told detectives last year that Kevin is a "big time thief, when he says he's going out to work, he means going out robbing."

Marianne Pasha, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office, said Carron, 54, clearly identified himself.

This is his first officer-involved shooting.

He will be a 30-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office at the end of this month.

At the time of the collision, Carron was standing toward the left front of his green pickup, near the headlights.

He was parked behind the Mirage, blocking it in. Other deputies were nearby, helping Carron track the Dorry brothers.

Pasha said the three other teenagers, who were interviewed after the shooting, told investigators that they all knew they were being stopped by law enforcement.

"They were all very cooperative," she said.

Times researchers Angie Drobnic Holan and Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Abhi Raghunathan can be reached at araghunathan@sptimes.com or 727 893-8472.