Last week, WINK News told you about a trooper-involved shooting on I-75 that injured one person. Now, we’re learning that a Florida Highway Patrol trooper shot a woman and mother, and she ended up in a coma.
That woman’s family wants answers about what happened along the interstate in Collier County, near mile marker 103. 28-year-old Ana Juan’s family says she was driving and then ended up in a median along I-75. That’s when a trooper took out their weapon and fired at her.
But what caused that deputy to fire their weapon? And what was the interaction like between the two in the moments leading up to the shooting? Juan’s family came to WINK News for answers to these questions.
So far, we know next to nothing about the interaction because FHP turned the investigation over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement almost immediately. All FDLE has said is “it’s an active investigation.”
Investigators haven’t said much to the woman’s family either. The family told us she is still in the hospital and may not make it. Sadly, they say, they have no idea why.
28-year-old Ana Juan is a loving mother to her 7-year-old son. She is a dental assistant, and her family says she’s always been a hard worker. They describe her as a loyal sister and the perfect daughter.
Manuela Bacilio is Ana’s mother. “Very happy. A woman who has love for everyone,” Bacilio said, tearing up.
Maria Juan is Ana’s younger sister. “She just had a smile that lights up a room, and to see her in this condition,” she said through tears. “It hurts me because she had a lot going for her, and now I feel like it won’t be the same.”
Because of Ana’s kind and caring nature, her mom and sister say what happened along I-75 makes no sense at all. How did this happy woman, who they say has no history of mental illness, end up in the hospital? How did she get shot by a state trooper? Why is she now fighting for her life?
“The police told me she was driving, and the trooper said she got out of her car and said that she was holding a knife to her neck and wanted to kill herself, but my mind told me that can’t be true,” said Bacilio.
For her, that simply doesn’t add up. “Because my daughter is not a bad person. She’s not a person like that who would want to kill themselves… and for what?” said Bacilio.
The family says investigators told them that Ana was shot several times, and now she’s in a coma and on a ventilator. But no one is saying why her car was in the median, where that knife could’ve come from, or why Ana was on I-75 on Collier County in the first place.
FDLE continues to investigate but won’t give any details on that investigation.
Since no one answered Ana’s family’s questions, they hired an attorney. His name is Michael Beckman. “And we might have to file a lawsuit against the department in order to get these answers,” said Beckman.
“My heart says, ‘just wake up, Ana, just wake up.’ We’re all waiting for her. You know we have faith. We have faith in God, but, for right now, I want Justice,” Juan said. “What exactly happened that day and that time and that moment that the officers felt they could not speak to her.” Investigators haven’t answered that question either.
“What did Ana do that made him feel that he had to shoot her so many times? That’s what I want to know,” Juan said.
Ana’s mother says no one should be able to take her daughter’s life into their hands. “He’s not a god. There is a God that gives us life and a God who takes away our life… That man should not have taken my daughter like that,” Bacilio said.
For days on end, the family has even held vigils at the hospital in hopes that Ana Juan wakes up.
The family also says that Ana’s son has been standing by the door asking, ‘where’s my mom?’ ‘Is she ok?’ ‘When will she come home?’ They say they don’t want to burden him with the truth for now, so they tell him she’s sick.
“He’s always watching the front door saying is my mom coming home when is she coming home? Is she here yet?” said Juan. “It hurts me because she had a lot going for her and now I feel like it won’t be the same.”
As for the trooper who shot her, he’s still on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in cases like this.