Around 7 pm on Saturday, May 23rd, Coral Springs police responded to an armed robbery at Advanced Auto Parts at 300 University Drive. Clerks at the parts store reported being robbed by two black males armed with an assault rifle. Officers en route to the location discovered the suspect vehicle and pursued it north on Coral Springs Drive. The suspects attempted to evade officers and eventually crashed into the side of a home in the 10400 block of Ramblewood Drive. Officer Paul Kempinski, age 27, a three-year veteran assigned to patrol, began a foot chase with one of the suspects along Coral Springs Drive. During the foot chase Kempinski was fired upon and struck multiple times by the second suspect using a fully automatic assault rifle. Officer Kempinski was able to fire his weapon in response but did not strike the gunman.
The first suspect was arrested moments later by several responding officers. He is identified as Jeremiah N. Derico, age 20, of Pompano Beach, Florida.
The second suspect, still armed with the assault rifle, ran a short distance to the gated neighborhood of Maplewood Isle, shooting at pursuing officers who returned fire.
That suspect, identified as Yancy T. Polk, age 24, of North Lauderdale, attempted to enter two separated homes via open garage doors before shooting out a front window of a third home and taking residents there hostage. While in the home, Polk struck the head of an elderly resident and fired at least one round into a couch. Polk surrendered after speaking to Coral Springs Police Special Response Team Hostage Negotiators.
Officer Kempinski was transported to North Broward Medical Center where he underwent surgery for bullet wounds. He is expected to recover.
The suspects have been charged initially with Attempted Felony Murder, Armed Robbery, Wearing a Mask During the Commission of a Crime, and Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding.
There are several charges pending for crimes committed in the Maplewood Isle area.
During the pursuit, arrest and capture of the suspects, several police agencies assisted the Coral Springs Police Department with officers, helicopters, K-9 and Special Response and S.W.A.T. teams. The professional dedication and response by these officers is deeply appreciated.
Anyone with information concerning these crimes are asked to contact Detective Randy Rosenberg at 954-346-1262