Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg teen killed by police shouted at officers: 'Go ahead and kill me'

ST. PETERSBURG — The officers showed up at the ranch-style home near Northeast High School on Sunday evening knowing things could go bad.

Police files were full of warnings — about weapons, about past domestic incidents, about how officers should "use caution."

The first officer took one side of the taupe-colored house. Two others approached from a different direction. They were searching for Austin Goodner, an 18-year-old linked to a shooting earlier in the day.

Moments later, in the back yard, Goodner pointed a 9mm handgun at one of the officers, who responded by twice firing his shotgun, reports stated.

Goodner ran and then fired at the two other officers, hitting one in the leg. Officer Michael "Micky" Cordiviola, who is expected to survive, wrapped a garden hose around his leg to stop the bleeding.

Trapped, the teen refused to surrender, according to police reports.

"Go ahead, kill me," the teen said, according to police Chief Tony Holloway. "I want you to kill me."

Goodner then raised his gun, reports said. One of the officers fired again, and the teen fell. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

On Monday, a day after the shooting, Holloway described the dramatic scene, which unfolded about 45 minutes after Goodner shot a stranger during a brief altercation on Coffee Pot Boulevard. Norman Conrad Seibert, 50, told officers the teen shot him because he didn't like how he looked at him. Siebert's condition was not available Monday afternoon.

Police later discovered that Goodner had been involved in another gun-related incident earlier in the day. He was riding by North Shore Pool and made a comment to several people there about their sexual orientation. He then insinuated that he was armed, Holloway said.

As officers got descriptions of the Coffee Pot shooter, they developed Goodner as a suspect. The Police Department had already flagged Goodner's home on Robin Lane N because of his past, which included multiple arrests for battery and two Baker Acts, which allows people to be held involuntarily in a psychiatric facility if they are believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

Officers arrived at his house, about 4 miles from the scene of the first shooting, at 6:45 p.m. They spoke to his parents, who said he wasn't at home. Goodner, it turned out, was waiting in the yard, gun in hand, authorities said.

Officer Matthew Enhoffer, armed with a shotgun, saw Goodner first and told him to drop his gun. Instead, police said, the teen leveled the gun at Enhoffer.

The officer fired twice.

Goodner sprinted in the other direction, where he soon confronted the other officers. He fired on them first, striking Cordiviola in the leg, police said. The 40-year-old Air Force reservist, who has been with the police department for 10 years, used a nearby hose as a tourniquet. He also returned fire, getting off four rounds,

"I just heard bam, bam, bam, bam, bam," said neighbor Ann Maglio, 45, who then looked over and saw an officer lying on the ground. Her husband, William, playing outside with his 7-year-old daughter, heard the officer shouting for some kind of medical kit.

" 'My leg!' and 'He shot me' or 'He got me,'" William recalled the officer saying.

Officer Brian Lynch, the third officer on scene, dragged Cordiviola out of the line of fire.

For a few moments, the shooting stopped.

Holloway said that's when the officers once again called out to the teen, ordering him to surrender. Goodner wouldn't, police said.

Instead, they said, he goaded police to end his life, then emerged once again and started shooting. Enhoffer fired his shotgun twice more. Police said the teen was struck in the torso.

The entire encounter lasted one or two minutes, Holloway said.

On Monday morning, Goodner's mother, Diana, emerged from the house but declined to speak with a reporter as she crossed the street to put her trash in a neighbor's garbage can. Her own trash barrels were in the back yard, which police were still combing for evidence.

Several neighbors stopped at the edge of the police tape to hug the mother, who dabbed at her eyes with a tissue.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has begun a review of the events surrounding the shootings, a routine step anytime officers are involved in an incident that results in someone's death.

The three officers all have numerous commendations in their personnel files. None has faced major discipline before.

Holloway said Cordiviola, who is married and has three children, is doing well.

"He's ready to go home," the chief said. "This is a dangerous job. Things like this are going to happen. . . . We're going to get through it. "

Times staff writer Curtis Krueger contributed to this report.

 
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