SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as $1 for 3 months
SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as $1 for 3 months

State Attorney's Office releases name of suspect killed in Thursday police shootout

Tom McLaughlin
Northwest Florida Daily News

CRESTVIEW — Five days after he died during a shooting in a McDonald's parking lot in Crestview, authorities have identified Luis Roberto Barboza as the kidnapping suspect they were seeking to detain early Thursday when gunfire erupted.

Barboza, 36, was being sought as a suspect in the kidnapping of Jalajhia Finklea, an 18-year-old member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, a group whose native lands included parts of Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island.

More:Kidnap victim still missing after suspect shot at Crestview McDonald's parking lot

Barboza was killed about 8:30 a.m. Thursday as the task force, composed of local law enforcement officers and members of the U.S. Marshal's Service, closed in on his vehicle. Reports say Barboza fired first from inside the vehicle.

More:U.S. Marshals shoot wanted kidnapping suspect at Crestview McDonald's

Investigators and members of the State Attorney's Office stand on the scene of an officer-involved shooting at the McDonald's in the south end of Crestview on Thursday.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the police shooting, which involved an Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office deputy working with the fugitive task force. 

Finklea was last seen Oct. 20, the day before her 18th birthday, and several reports stated she had been in the company of Barboza near the time of her disappearance. It was clear from social media chatter that the two were involved in some sort of relationship. 

Finklea remained missing Monday, and Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said there had been no reports of local sightings.

"I just know when they found him in the car, she was not with him," Nicholson wrote in a Monday email.   

Friends of Finklea and those worried about her fate have been outspoken on social media. Until news of his death was reported, many were calling out to Barboza, both on her Facebook page and on his Twitter account, to have him return Finklea to her family or at least let the world know she was safe. 

Barboza had his own Facebook page in which he identified himself as "Luis Diamondz." That page apparently had been removed Monday.

Barboza's identity was confirmed Monday afternoon by the Florida's First Judicial Circuit's State Attorney's Office.

Investigators and members of the State Attorney's Office wait near the McDonald's restaurant on South Ferdon Boulevard in Crestview  last Thursday after Luis Zaragoza was killed in a confrontation with lawmen.

Release of the name had been held up for days, at least in part, by apparent confusion over which agency would take the lead in sharing Barboza's identity with the public.

The U.S. Marshal's Service in Florida on Friday deferred responsibility for releasing the information to its sister agency in Boston. The U.S. Marshal's Service in Boston referred press calls to a Washington, D.C., communications center, and from there media inquiries were passed off to the District Attorney's Office in Bristol County, Mass. 

Monday morning, Gregg Milote, a spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney, said a Florida agency, likely the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, should release the shooting victim's name. FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Pessinger said the U.S. Marshal's Service or another Massachusetts-based law enforcement agency ought to be responsible.

A New Bedford, Massachusetts, Police Department spokesman said the U.S. Marshal's Service would issue a news release Monday afternoon. That agency provided no response to emailed inquiries about a possible news release and no information had been shared as of press time.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Police Chief Kevin Frye, who had released Barboza's name to another news organization, did not return phone calls Monday seeking comment.