The story of the stand-off at a Homestead reptile farm has more twists and turns than a snake slithering through the jungle. Riptide has learned that Bruce Stephenson was found dead after a stand off with police while he had barricaded himself in a home on the premises. Tom Crutchfield, the namesake of the reptile farm and Stephenson's business partner, had been grazed by a bullet after Stephenson fired a gun at him sources say. Stephenson's cause of death has not been released.
The Miami-Dade Police Department's Special Response Team responded to the Tom Crutchfield Reptile Farm at 35000 SW 212th Ave. shortly before noon yesterday after an argument between Crutchfield and Stephenson escalated to gun fire.
According to sources, Stephenson grazed Crutchfield with a bullet before barricading himself in a building on the property. Police were unable to talk Stephenson out of the building, and once they entered yesterday at around 7 p.m. they found Stephenson.
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Crutchfield's girlfriend may also have been present during the shooting.
Stephenson's cause of death has not been released, though it may not necessarily be a suicide. The homicide unit is investigating the situation.
While the name of the farm featured Crutchfield's name, Stephenson, a former radiology supervisor, owned the farm and had the license to import reptiles.