October 12th, 2022 - Polk County, Florida

Published October 12th, 2022

A Polk County, Florida, Sheriff's Deputy is recovering after being shot while responding to a domestic disturbance Wednesday evening. At approximately 10:00 p.m. Wednesday evening, Polk County deputies were called to respond to a domestic disturbance. An individual had made threatening statements to one of the residents via telephone, then told them not to call police, “as it will not end well”. A brief time later, he came to the residence and began knocking on the doors and windows and called the resident again, telling her that “the cops will have to kill me in front of the house”, but fled prior to police arrival. As the police were speaking with the resident, the individual returned in his vehicle. As he got out of his vehicle and deputies approached him, he kept his hands behind his back, despite the deputies' instructions to show his hands. As one deputy deployed her Taser, the individual pointed a pistol at the deputies and opened fire, striking the other deputy in the chest, which was stopped by the ballistic-resistant vest he was wearing. The deputies exchanged gunfire with the suspect, but no further rounds struck the deputies or the suspect. The suspect then dropped his weapon and surrendered to police. The suspect later told investigators after his arrest that when he learned that police had responded to the residence, that he returned because he “wanted to commit second-hand suicide” by having the police shoot him. According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, “I am very happy to report that [the deputy who was shot] was released from the hospital this morning. He is sore, but recuperating. Domestic violence calls are among the most dangerous our deputies respond to. [The suspect] asked for us to kill him and we would have fulfilled his request if [the deputy’s] gun didn't jam. We will be holding [the suspect] accountable for his depraved violence against our deputies." The suspect is facing multiple felony charges, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer and firearms violations.