The family of 21-year-old Alteria Woods, a young pregnant woman who was shot and killed during a Florida S.W.A.T. Team raid on Sunday, say they are getting few answers from law enforcement, says CBS 12 News. But what is clear is that Woods’ boyfriend used her body to shield him from the spray of bullets.
“I’ve never heard of this before. We don’t know what to do, no closure,”Arlene Cooper, Woods’ aunt, told the news station.
Apparently, Woods who was 4 months pregnant, was caught in the crossfire and killed by the Indian River County sheriff’s deputies, who were executing a search warrant at what was allegedly a known drug house. Authorities say that Woods’ boyfriend Andrew Coffee IV, 23, and his father Andrew Coffee III, 38, were the targets of the raid as a result of a tip they received. Both Coffee men have a history of runs in with the law.
According to WPTV, while SWAT officials struggled to take down the eldest Coffee, shot were fired at deputies from within the house, which resulting in three officials returning fire. Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar confirmed that Coffee IV used his girlfriend as a human shield during the raid.
“Andrew Coffee IV cowardly was using her as protection,” he stressed.
Yet Loar was clear to emphasize that Woods was an innocent victim in this tragic ordeal: “Today, we mourn the loss of Alteria Woods. My thoughts and prayers go to her family.”
Five people were taken into custody from the residence; and a judge set bond for the oldest Coffee at $93,000 and $307,000 for his son.
According to Woods’ cousin Kaleasha Johnson, the expectant mother was a loving person who loved to laugh.
“I talked to her every day. We were like sisters,” Johnson recently told TC Palm News. “She joked around and laughed; never a dull moment.”
Woods was also a student at Indian River State College and worked at a Publix pharmacy.
“She was on the honor roll at Sebastian River High School where she was on dual enrollment (taking college credits),” Johnson added.
Despite Coffee IV using her cousin’s body as a shield, Johnson doesn’t believe that he is a “bad guy” and stresses that the police used unnecessary force to apprehend the suspects. In the end, her cousin is gone forever.
“She can’t be brought back,” Johnson said. “I’m numb. I lost someone close to me.”