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Deputies kill grandmother hiding in closet during drug raid

  1. chillinwill
    Broward Sheriff's deputies said they raided a suspected Pompano Beach drug house early Saturday and ended up killing one suspect.

    William George showed Local 10 where his sister, 52-year-old Brenda Van Zwieten, was killed early Saturday morning.

    "You can see the bloody footprints," he said pointing to a blood stained floor.

    Shortly after 12 a.m. deputies stormed through a glass sliding door on the side of Van Zwieten's home at 301 S.W. 18th Court. They had a search warrant for guns and drugs. Once inside they reportedly found Van Zwieten holding a handgun.

    "Deputies told her to put her weapon down. She did not. They shot her. They did what they had to do to protect themselves," said Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti.

    George questions what he called a grisly murder. He said his sister's home had recently been broken into and she acted only out of fear. "She heard breaking glass and picked up her gun and hid in her closet afraid for her life. That's where she was when she was shot," he said.

    Officers reportedly found two shotguns and a rifle after the shooting. They also said they confiscated heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and Xanax along with $500 in cash. Van Zwieten's boyfriend Gary Nunnemacher was taken into custody after surrendering and faces charges of drug possession.

    Chaylenne Pallazo, 21, Patrick Banks, 21, and Jorge Lopez, 23, were arrested for allegedly buying drugs leading up to the raid.

    "I am sure the neighbors here who initially tipped us off are relieved that this drug den has been busted," said Lamberti.

    George said Van Zwieten had no criminal record. He said regardless of what was found in her home, no one should have died.

    "She was a mother. A grandmother. They jumped the gun," he said.

    The officers involved with shooting are on standard paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

    March 13, 2010
    Just News


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