Grand Jury Says Coral Springs Police Officers were “Legally Justified” in Suicide By Cop Case

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By Kevin Deutsch

A grand jury cleared a decorated Coral Springs Police detective and another officer who fatally shot an armed, suicidal man during a 2017 standoff with police, finding they acted within the law, newly released records show.

Det. Brian Koenig, named 2020 Detective of the Year by the Broward County Chiefs of Police Association, along with Officer Frank Marinez, “were legally justified in using deadly force” when they killed 71-year-old Robert Page on Dec. 6, 2017, according to a grand jury report sent to the Coral Springs Police Department, and not previously made public.

Page, a military veteran, had been threatening suicide and posed a threat to officers when he came out of his home at 11293 Northwest 11th Court carrying a loaded, pump-action, 12-gauge American Tactical shotgun with a laser sight, the grand jury found.

Page was stuck by five bullets and died at the scene.

“A follow-up investigation revealed that [Page] had a history of alcohol abuse and had hinted at ‘suicide by cop’ to a family member in the past,” the grand jury report states. “A search warrant for the residence revealed that [Page] had dozens of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition” inside.

The grand jury, convened by the Broward State Attorney’s Office in 2019, heard evidence and testimony about Page’s death and found Koenig and Marinez “reasonably believed” deadly force was necessary to “prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or others.”

“Accordingly, no criminal charges are warranted against Detective Brian Koenig and Officer Frank Marinez.”

The Broward State Attorney’s Office disclosed Koenig’s involvement in Page’s homicide as part of a Jan. 26 court filing in their prosecution of Raymond Reese, the gunman who allegedly shot beloved Parkland mom and realtor Sara Trost to death in Coral Springs on Dec. 23.

Though the investigations into Reese’s alleged crimes and Page’s death have no connection, prosecutors are required to disclose active grand jury reviews of officer-involved shootings under the Brady Rule, which requires prosecutors to disclose any evidence applicable to the credibility of a witness.

In last week’s disclosure filing, Broward State Attorney Taylor Hoffmann wrote that Koenig “is the subject of a Grand Jury Review wherein a person (Robert Page) died as a result of police action.”

But on Monday, Broward State Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Paula McMahon said, “Koenig’s name remained on the Brady list in error but was removed today when Coral Springs Police Department brought it to the prosecutors’ attention.”

The grand jury made its findings after hearing testimony from civilian witnesses, crime scene detectives, the medical examiner, and an expert in the area of firearms and ballistics, according to the grand jury report.

According to the document, Coral Springs Police responded to Page’s home on Northwest 11th Court in response to a call about a person threatening to commit suicide with a gun.

The 911 caller told police Page had multiple guns in the home and “would commit ‘suicide by cop.’”

The Coral Springs Police SWAT Team responded, and a police hostage negotiator made contact with Page.

“[Page] later walked out of the front door towards SWAT officers at the front of the residence and proceeded to point a firearm at SWAT officers. Despite several verbal commands, [Page] did not drop the firearm, and that was when Detective Koenig and Officer Marinez” opened fire.

Page’s standoff with SWAT team members lasted about 90 minutes.

During the standoff, a Coral Springs Police Officer got a follow-up call from a family member of Page’s saying Page was suicidal and that he had a shotgun in his mouth. In response, SWAT members surrounded the house, and the hostage negotiator spoke with Page over the phone.

“The negotiator testified that [Page] did not want police on his property and that he grew increasingly angry, and that [Page] began stating, ‘are you getting ready? Are you gonna get ready?’ and that he was going to come out the front door.”

The negotiator told Page to leave the gun in his house if he came out.

“It’s gonna be you firing back and me firing back,” Page told the negotiator, according to the grand jury report. “You’re going to fire one, and I’m going to fire the second.”

Page came out armed and was fatally shot a short time later.

In testimony before the grand jury, Marinez said Page had yelled “shoot me” several times before raising his shotgun and pointing it “directly” at him and Koenig.

Koenig testified that he used a police loudspeaker to tell Page police were there to “help him” and had “instructed a fellow SWAT operator to use his ‘less than lethal’ weapon.”

“Before he could, [Page] raised the shotgun and pointed it” in Koenig’s and Marinez’s direction, leading both men to open fire.

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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