Cop Shooter Was Supposed to be Witness

He shot at Deputy Lyonelle De Veaux nine times, hitting her three and was arrested, but the former U.S. Marine was going to appear today as a prosecution witness in another case.

Prosecutors had subpoenaed Matthew Buendia to testify against a neighbor at the Inkwood Park Apartments in a misdemeanor domestic battery trial. Apparently Buendia heard a woman living above him in the complex scream for help. Gonzalo Moreno was arguing with his live-in girlfriend on July 11 when the woman ran to the bedroom and locked the door. The report said Moreno kicked it in, pushed the woman to the ground and stepped on her.

 Mark O’Brien, Buendia’s attorney, said Buendia heard the woman’s cries and rushed to her rescue, holding Moreno until deputies arrived.

Two months later, on Sept. 30, deputies returned to the complex on a domestic altercation call, this time involving Buendia and his girlfriend. But instead of saving the day he pulled out a gun and shot Deputy De Veaux and is now sitting in jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors subpoenaed Buendia as a witness in Moreno’s non-jury trial.

They changed their minds after O’Brien contacted the media.

“Matthew Buendia has been released from subpoena and will not be a witness for the state,” said Mark Cox, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County state attorney’s office.

O’Brien said the incident supports the defense contention that the former U.S. Marine was suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome from his combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Why would a decorated U.S. Marine shoot a police officer? This man has a spotless record,” O’Brien said. “He saw and did awful things at the direction of his government.”

O’Brien recently did not object to his client being jailed without bail, saying his mental state made him a threat to himself and others.

Deputy De Veaux was shot twice in the leg and once in the shoulder and is recovering.