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Suspect Shot and Killed by SWAT Deputy in Early Morning Standoff

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Investigating Poinciana Homicide

Suspect shot and killed by SWAT deputy during standoff early this morning

UPDATE to homicide and attempted homicide investigation, SWAT callout, and deputy-involved shooting

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide that occurred on 2-16-20 in Poinciana (commonly known as Kissimmee, but within unincorporated Polk County) which led to a SWAT callout and a deputy-involved shooting (occurred 2-17-20). The homicide suspect is deceased, and no deputies were injured.

Preliminary information and notes from Sheriff Judd’s news briefing (can be found on the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page) this morning are as follows:

At 7:23 p.m. on Sunday, February 16, 2020, the PCSO ECC (Emergency Communications Center) received multiple 911 calls about gunshots and screaming heard in the area of Finch Lane in Poinciana. When deputies arrived on-scene, they located a grey Nissan Altima parked in the roadway, with a deceased male (Orlando Riviera-Vasquez, DOB 3/21/79) in the driver’s seat. Additionally, a female victim inside the car had been shot but was still alive. This victim told deputies that the suspect who shot her and Riviera-Vasquez went by the name of “Shorty,” and that he was a Hispanic male who fled in a silver car. Ultimately, Rudy Arenas (DOB 7/23/79) was positively identified as the suspect, and deputies quickly learned he was in the area of Wood Lane in Poinciana.

Deputies arrived on Wood Lane and observed Arenas run into a house that belongs to one of his relatives, still armed with a handgun (that detectives determined that he had stolen from another person earlier on Sunday), where he barricaded himself and refused to surrender. The PCSO SWAT team responded to the scene to negotiate Arenas’ surrender. Arenas repeatedly told deputies that he would shoot them and/or shoot himself if they approached. The negotiations went on through the evening and into the early morning hours (approximately 4 hours), where deputies observed him on multiple occasions in possession of a handgun and holding the handgun to his head.

Around 3:00 a.m. on Monday, February 17, 2020, the PCSO SWAT team used two different less-lethal weapons – gas canisters and beanbag rounds – to attempt to take Arenas safely into custody for his warrants for first degree murder and attempted murder. Arenas refused to come out of the room with his hands up as instructed  he was observed with his hand in his pocket holding a firearm deputies fired beanbag rounds at Arenas, striking him, and causing him to drop the firearm he had in his hand in his pocket. He then picked up the handgun from the floor and began moving it up to a firing position. At this point three different PCSO SWAT members fired their agency-issued firearms, striking Arenas. He died at the scene.

Detectives recovered the handgun with a round chambered.

Arenas’ criminal history includes 17 previous arrests in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and 2 previous arrests in Florida, including drug possession, drug sales/delivery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, petit theft, felony shoplifting, eluding police, and burglary.

There are several ongoing investigations: two death investigations (Riviera-Vasquez and Arenas) by the PCSO Bureau of Criminal Investigations; an attempted homicide on the female victim by Arenas; an independent internal investigation by the PCSO Administrative Investigations Unit; an autopsy by the Medical Examiner; and an independent investigation and review by the State Attorney’s Office.

The following are criminal histories of Arenas and Riviera-Vasquez:

Arenas, Rudy (40 years old)

Rhode Island Charges:

12/31/1997 – Woonsocket
Elude PO

02/16/1998 – Woonsocket

04/09/2000 – Woonsocket
Poss Cocaine
Poss Firearm w/o License

02/24/2002 – Woonsocket
Poss Marijuana
Driving after Denial, Sus/Revocation-License

08/30/2003 – Woonsocket
Poss of Schedule 1-V

02/04/2004 – Woonsocket
Manuafc/Poss/Deliver/Sch 1/II

03/30/2005 – Woonsocket
Arrest of Escapees and Parole Viol w/o Warrant
Willful Trespass

10/30/2006 – Woonsocket
Obstructing Officer in Execution of Duty

12/21/2006 – Woonsocket
Driving after Denial, Sus/Revocation-License

01/05/2007 – Unknown
Driving after Denial, Sus/Revocation-License

07/28/2007 – Woonsocket

07/01/2008 – Woonsocket
Poss Of Marijuana- Felony
10/25/2010 – Providence
Failure to Appear/Answer Summons

06/14/2012 – North Smithfield
Shoplifting – Felony

06/11/2013 – Providence
Manufac/Poss/Deliver Sch 1/II

08/16/2014 – Woonsocket
Shoplifting- Felony

03/17/2016 – Woonsocket
Driving after Denial, Sus/Revocation-License

Massachusetts Charges:

02/02/2014 – Milford PD

Florida Charges:

Total Felony Charges:  02; Total Misdemeanor Charges:  04

06/29/2012 – Tampa PD
Petit Theft
Resisting Arrest or Detention in Retail Theft

07/13/2019 – PCSO
Petit Theft (2 counts)
Unarmed Burglary

Riviera-Vasquez, Orlando (40 years old)

Puerto Rico Charges:

01/20/2006 – FBI-San Juan
Domestic Violence

02/14/2008 – FBI-San Juan
Illegal Appropriation of Vehicle

Pennsylvania Charges:

02/28/2004 – Philadelphia

03/19/2004 – Philadelphia
Retail Theft

04/05/2004 – Philadelphia

04/17/2004 – Philadelphia

05/28/2004 – Philadelphia
Retail Theft

CURRENT: Outstanding arrest warrant (in state only) for “Dangerous Drugs” (Possession of narcotics with intent to sell)

Florida Charges:

Total Felony Charges:  05
Florida State Prison:
Date In-Custody         Date Out-Custody
03/08/2011                      11/01/2016

01/06/2010 – Orange CSO
Murder – 1st Degree
Aggravated Battery
Robbery with Weapon
11/24/2010 – Orange CSO
Poss OxyContin
Introduce Contraband into County Facility
Poss Cocaine

Original Release:

According to witnesses in the area of the shooting, they heard gunshots and then a woman screaming. Deputies responded and found a man deceased from a gunshot wound. A woman was injured by gunfire and she was transported to a local hospital. Deputies developed information about a suspect, which led them to Wood Lane in Poinciana. They encountered a suspect who barricaded himself in a residence. PCSO SWAT was called to the residence. During the standoff, the suspect was shot and killed by a SWAT deputy sheriff.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

author avatar
Staff Reporter

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