Below is the prepared statement read by Tarpon Springs Police Chief Robert P. Kochen at this afternoons press conference.
Thank you all for coming today. This press conference will be from prepared information concerning the identity of the Tarpon Springs officer involved in the shooting on Saturday, May 6, 2017 and the process which can be expected.over the course of this investigation. Due to the on going investigation, being conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office, I will not be addressing questions concerning the incident.
I want to first express that the loss of life, under any conditions, is truly.devastating; and, although we are police officers, we are human beings and understand emotions. We empathize with family and friends over the loss of this life and will attempt to address issues with dignity and respect.
Before we release the name of the officer involved, it is imperative to address an issue, which has erupted, especially via social media. That issue is misinformation. Initially, this was part of the reason that the officer’s name was not immediately released, as individuals without facts began to make accusations and express inflammatory language, which had to be vetted, in regard to the officer involved.
Since that time, the misinformation has continued from various individuals, who do not have knowledge concerning the case but will either disseminate a false narrative or fill in the unknown with speculation. For instance, individuals have falsely identified Tarpon Springs Police Major Michael Trill as the officer involved, which has been followed by malicious accusations being made about him, mention of going to the officer’s residence and mention of his family; and it was based on false information.
Additionally, there is inaccurate information being disseminated that the subject was either unarmed or had sunglasses in his hand. This is not the case. It is to be noted that the weapon used by the subject was recovered and was entered into evidence as part of the investigation by the Florida Department of law enforcement.
We urge everyone to cease the misinformation and allow the thorough investigation to be accomplished. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office investigation will be thorough, and we ask that everyone allows these outside agencies to do their diligent work in regard to the case.
Now… the name of the officer involved in the shooting on Saturday is Officer Scott MacIsaac, who has been with the police department since 2011. Ofc. MacIsaac is currently assigned to patrol and is a Field Training Officer for the department. He recently completed Crisis Intervention Training in April of this year.
Officer MacIsaac was placed on Administrative Leave with pay, pending Tarpon Springs Police Department’s preliminary review, which is directed by policy.
Upon completion of the FDLE and State Attorney’s investigation, their findings will be released to the public. In addition, the Tarpon Springs Police Department will conduct an additional Internal Affairs investigation in regard to department policies and procedures.
We additionally ask for understanding for the officer, who is also dealing with this very emotional incident, as are those close to him. As noted before, misinformation can have a serious effect on individuals, so we request a respectful response to the incident. Threats toward law enforcement officers or their families (which only serve to enflame the situation and serve no legitimate purpose) will be thoroughly investigated by the appropriate authorities and handled accordingly.
In conclusion, this type of incident is difficult for everyone involved or affected. We offer condolences to the family and friends of Nicholas. We ask that you allow the investigating agencies the respect to complete their duties in regard to this investigation and allow the process to take place legitimately.
We implore the public to not partake in the misinformation that is circulated, by either disseminating this false information or blindly believing it.
When additional information is available for release, it will be done so in a timely manner and with transparency.
Chief Robert P. Kochen