A firefighter and a police officer

Robert Peat, 31, was a firefighter, who worked for one fire department and volunteered at another. He lived with his girlfriend 30 year old Laura Grunas, who was a police officer. The couple had been together for about a year.

Neighbors say the couple were known for their “fussing and fighting“. And Friday, they had another “shouting and screaming” match. That afternoon, one of the neighbors called 911. Police came to the home, and ordered Grunas to leave, but they did not charge anyone. Though neighbors say that the couple argued regularly, police say they had never been called to the home before.

That evening a friend of the couple, a reserve police officer, was visiting at the home. A neighbor says that Grunas returned to the home and “I guess she was trying to push herself inside the door, and he was closing it on her, as if he was trying to tell her to get out of the house. She didn’t listen. She got inside, and we just heard a lot of arguing.” Then they heard shots. Police believe that Grunas shot Peat, then turned the gun on herself. Police found both dead at the scene.

The reserve police officer who was at the home was also injured, but the nature of his injury has not been disclosed. The nature of the argument or a motive for the shooting is not known.

http://cbs4.com/topstories/local_story_216212538.html

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060805/APN/608050740

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/15207051.htm

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-deadcop0506aug05,0,7306859.story?coll=orl-news-headlines-state

http://www.nbc6.net/news/9633412/detail.html

Police officers and firefighters are two of the biggest brotherhoods around. Both work jobs that can be dangerous and high stress. Both work odd hours. Both rely on the others in their profession to watch their backs in dangerous situations.

Though both come under the public safety umbrella, many do not realize the connections between the two. Frequently they will be at the same scenes. Car accidents, buildings burning, and other similiar scenes, though their jobs are different sometimes they find themselves working together. And since both work such odd shifts, they will sometimes check in on each other at slow times.

The point I am getting to in all of this, is that this one couple’s problem, is going to have a major impact. When one firefighter or police officer falls- or goes bad, they all feel it. Both of the couple were in good standing with their respective positions. No one suspected that this could happen, even the neighbors- who were aware of the regular arguments,  never thought it would go this far. And both professions find themselves frequently in contact with the community as they go about their jobs, give talks, do inspections and generally interact with the public. So along with the families, this will have a major impact on the community.

I am a bit disturbed by the fact that police were called to the home earlier the same day. Not much is being said about that. Nothing about whether a police report was filed, nothing about whether any abuse was alleged, and nothing about whether either was offered the opportunity for a protection order- or whether or not it was warranted. I am not implying any wrong doing on their part, just that not much is known.

Domestic violence doesn’t occur in every home, but it can occur in any home. Two of the professions that stand for safety and justice.

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Both Grunas and Peat were highly thought of in their respective jobs. Peat was a volunteer firefighter, besides his regular firefighting job, but so was Grunas. Grunas was thought of as a good cop, who was approachable and friendly. She was not known to have anger problems.

Peat had recently been promoted from paramedic to rescue lieutentant. On his last night on his job, his unit was called to a home occupied by two mentally disabled sisters and their 74 year old mother. The twins had called, because they had been unable to get their mother out of bed, and they had no one to cook for them. Peat stayed with the family and cooked dinner for them.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-pfire07aug07,0,5662947.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Family says that Grunas always wanted to be a cop, she graduated from college with a business degree. Neighbors describe her as very friendly.

Neighbors say that Grunas was sometimes seen showing up, to leave notes and envelopes under Peat’s door. But that Peat sometimes had other female visitor’s.

The article has a little more detail about the shooting. During the argument, part of which took place outside, Grunas was heard to yell “Why is everyone blaming this on me? He killed my baby.” It is unknown if she was pregnant or what she may have been referring to.

Another volunteer firefighter pulled up to the home and tried unsuccessfully to calm Grunas down. It was at that point that neighbors called police.

Allegedly the two officers told Grunas to leave, but she didn’t. After the two officers left, the squad car she had arrived in remained there.  

Neighbors say that about the time the shots started, the volunteer firefighter was seen running through yards and jumping fences while yelling “I’m being shot at.” Police say that he recieved minor injuries, unrelated to the gunfire.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/broward_county/15208832.htm

Both Grunas and Peat were highly respected member’s of their departments. Both are being spoken highly of. All three departments (one police department and two fire departments) are in shock over the events. All feel it is a terrible loss.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-cplantation06aug06,0,2964500.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Domestic violence can and does occur in many homes, and many different types of people. It can and does occur, even in “good” homes, and with good people.

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The man who was at the home at the time of the shooting is being reported as Mike Roth. It has been reported that after the sound of gunfire began, he was seen running through yards and jumping fences, shouting that someone was shooting at him. Roth is also reported as being a volunteer firefighter and a reserve police officer. He is reported to have recieved serious injuries during his run.

Police state they would like to talk to Roth, but that he is being uncooperative. They report that he is hindering the investigation, as police are still looking for the motive for the shootings. Roth is reported to be at home healing from his injuries, but reportedly he was able to attend a fire department meeting on Monday.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-pbcfirefighter09aug09,0,5935429.story?coll=sfla-news-palm

This article posted at the approximate time as the previous article says that police want to interview Roth, but that they are giving him a little time, due to the situation he had witnessed.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/broward_county/15228997.htm

Robert Peat memorial service was attended by hundreds. He was laid to rest with full honors. Family, friends and colleague’s attending remembered him as a guy who helped colleagues with home projects, was a practical joker, loved his family, and helped senior citizens.

Police have stated that Peat was shot with Grunas’ service pistol. Police state they interviewed Mike Roth on Wednesday, and that what he told them was consistent with the findings of the investigation.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-pcpeat11aug11,0,3871536.story?coll=sfla-news-palm

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/states/florida/counties/broward_county/15246640.htm

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12 Comments

  1. DINA said,

    August 11, 2006 at 6:09 am

    I came across your site but stopped reading it approximately 2 mins. later. You say this was incident pertain to domestic violence? How would you know? The media writes the stories from interview they get from everyobe body ho either knows something or says too much of nothing. You are repeating the same garbage every newspaper has repeated. How sure are we that LG pulled the trigger? It could have been set up or any other problem. We dont know if MR is saying the truth. Everyone is bashing LG, but we dont know if what has been said ot us is true ! You like everyone else thinks they know what happened. You mention domestic violence over and over again, WE GET THE POINT.You are all making it seem like if you know the cause of incident. You are making an ass out of yourself for assuming ust like everyone else. Stop making her look like a monster, she was far from that. She was my professor and well respected at the university she worked at. One again dont believe all the garbage where you get your sources from. They make you look like an ASS !!

  2. LGH said,

    August 11, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    Dina, I do not know who you are but I have to thank you for your words. I was a personal friend of LG and I am still in denial. I have known her for almost 5 years. During those years, LG never showed any signs of bad temper, anger problems or signs that would indicate her being able to do something like that. She was always smiling, willing to help others, always found time to help others.

    Yes it is a tragedy and unless MR is able to tell what he witnessed that day, nobody would ever know what really happened.

    You are correct, the news and media dont really give a damn, they only want to interview people and be the “best”, often forgetting that no matter who did what, we have lost two lives. Two individuals that in their own professions, always strived to go the extra mile to help others.

    Often forget the grieve, pain and suffering of both remaining friends, family members and loved ones. No matter who did what, we lost a friend, a brother, daughter, son, sister, loved one

    May God bless them both and give their loved ones the strengths to forgive and love one another.

    Thanks,

    LGH

  3. August 12, 2006 at 12:26 am

    I have seen a lot of good things about Laura. A little from family, but mostly from colleagues. I could tell from the media that she was well thought of, she was friendly and helpful, and she had a good record at work And that no one was aware of any ongoing problems. I have also read that the couple were seen together recently and appeared to be getting along, even to being loving with each other. This does appear to have come out of the blue.
    If you don’t mind my asking, did Laura have a pet?

  4. angie said,

    August 12, 2006 at 3:50 am

    your story on the Grunas/ Peat case is totaly wrong. They didnt live together so right there that makes your Home sweet home story a good for nothing story. Next time you write something on someone make sure you have your information correct.

  5. August 12, 2006 at 4:52 am

    Thank you for the correction Angie. Early reports indicated that they lived together, but I did see one article which led me to believe they didn’t.

  6. Christina said,

    August 14, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    Laura did have a pet but I don’t see what that has to do with anything. I knew Rob very well and the two of them had issues. You can’t always believe everything that you read in the papers. They never lived together and they had many issues that they tried to keep behind close doors because that was the way Rob was. He kept his issues to himself since he had some much of other peoples issues to deal with at work. If you don’t know the people involved in a story please do not give your comments about their relationship or their personality!

  7. Cloud said,

    September 24, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    People who know the people in the news usually want everyone to shut up but once our lives get this public, people are going to speculate. I think it’s much more important to talk and take the risk of making mistakes than to fear speaking on anything in the news. It’s just the way it is. Home Sweet Home does it, and so do I.

    http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2006/09/fl-officer-grunasfirefighter-peat.html

    Even when we make mistakes – we learn because people with the truth step forward. Others step forward too, but the truth often also rises. It’s important to learn from tragedies imo.

    Cloud

  8. Rick said,

    March 14, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I dated LG prior to her moving to Florida. She was an amazing person, far from a monster. All this good cop gone bad is a bunch of crap. I know her most intimate secerets and what she has endured in her short lifetime….it’s a miracle she accomplished all that she did. She was a one-of-a-kind person and will always be missed and loved by many. That guy screwed with her head one time to many. He talked her into an abortion, then pushes her away? I’m not saying it’s ok, but I understand. I will confirm he did play head games. We talked on several occasions about it. Love is blind.
    But he sure does come out smelling like a rose in the end. If all the LG bashers only knew what a “mindfunk” he played on her….. if you only knew.

  9. Ashlie said,

    July 5, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Rick said: Thank You for making it clear on how nice LG was. I was in one of her classes where she was a part-time professor and yes she was a very nice perso. You are sharring with us the loving image of a woman who was tormented by a jerk who did nothing but play mind games wth her. I believe she had enough with him and just snapped.Im not saying that what she did to Peat was something he deserved, but some of the worse things you can do to a person is give them the silent treatment which he did after she had the abortion, he totally ignored her and wanted nothing to do with her, he pushed her away and second was mentaly abuse her, when you play mind games with people it will backfire, and it sure did in this case. LG was a great professor, and took her job as a police officer serious. We miss her.

  10. Jen said,

    August 10, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    Ashlie,
    You, I dont know you but LG was my best friend. My sons called her Aunt Laura and she cared for them as if they were hers. She wanted a baby – she drank pickle juice for goodness sake. Rob was a total jerk. I told her to leave him so many times. She knew he was cheating on her and then the mind games were horriffic. I am so mad at myself for not seeing something coming – she still came over everyday, but began to be silent. Not joking and I could tell she had been crying, so I would ask Peat again– She would reply — I do not know what to do!!!! I need help. Roth – should be charged with obstruction of Justice. If her were a regular Joe he would of been. What about the other officer, I cant recall his name, said that Laura tried to show him bruises but he looked away. He ignored his orders by the Sargaent to FOLLOW HER ALL THE HOME AND SEE HER SAFE — NOOOO he thought it more important to only follow her to the street and pull over a speeder, he should of gone to her house and gone in and try to talk as a friend and co-worker. SHE DOESNT CRY EASY!! He should have been assigned to desk duty after that stunt. Now I know why LG was only wearing jeans in front of me and when we went shopping didnt want me to go into the dressing room. She hid the physical abuise! Thanks for standing up for her, me and my boys miss her. His bad qualities far outweighed his good!
    Jen

  11. casey said,

    December 31, 2007 at 10:02 am

    i don’t know LG that well but i do know her brother NG……..and from everything the family is saying i believe that she is a wonderful person….her nephews miss her and her brothers are going crazy without her…..she will be missed

  12. laurie said,

    March 25, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    I have known Laura since she was fourteen and working for the Boy’s and Girls Club in Detroit. I was her mentor. I am still dumbfounded by what happened. I too knew personal details about her love life. We can’t bring her back, but those of us who truly knew the pickle juice drinking Laura know she simply snapped that day. Right, wrong or indifferent. I miss her very much every day.


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