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Headline Surfer is playing catch up in reporting the news here because it is the lone media outlet excluded from the Sheriff's OPffice email media alerts. This has been the case since Jan. 3, the day Mike Chitwood was sworn into office as the new sheriff replacing Ben Johnson. Prior to that date, Headline Surfer had been included in breaking news alerts for close to nine years dating back to its launch in 2009.
The internet news outlet was not alerted to a deputy-involved fatal shooting last week in Deltona not was it given a head's up to a man gunned down in his own yard in Deltona a week ago Sunday.
Headline Surfer has appealed to County Chair Ed Kelley and several council mermbers as well as County Manager Jim Dinneen, but those appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
In addition to the email alert ban, Headline Surfer was barred from a Jan. 4 press conference held by Chitwood after his swearing-in ceremony at Bethune-Cookman University.
The identity of the man in Sunday's fatal shooting has not been released. He was pronounced dead at the scene behind a Publix store and in front of a line of homes.
DeLand police Chief Randel Henderson was asked by reporters at a joint press conference with Sheriff Mike Chiwood the extent of training in dealing with situations like this and he responded annually, but added ultimately it's law enforcement officers who often have to make quick decisions.
“We deal with the complexities of human behavior,” he said. “We never know at any given time what someone’s thinking, what’s going to punch their buttons and what’s going to make them react. (Officers and deputies) very quickly have to look at a scenario that unfolds around them and act accordingly.
The fatal shooting is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.