A man set his house on fire, and shot and killed the police officer responding to the emergency in Tallahassee, Florida. The gunman was shot by an off-duty police officer who lived nearby.
According to authorities, the man had previously made threats against police and even though the 911 system had the address on file, the dispatcher recorded the address of the neighbor who called in the fire. An officer from Leon County — speaking on condition of anonymity — said the deputy responding had no warning of the ambush, as the incident is being described by police.
The gunman was inside the house, which at the time was engulfed in flames. When the police officer arrived at about 10:15 am, he was shot from behind and shot again when he was down. Later on the gunman took the gun from the deputy and tried to steal other fire arms from his patrol car, but they were locked away safely.
The official says after the man set the house on fire and shot the police officer, he tried to kill another officer who arrived to help, but he was saved because of a bullet-proof vest. A police officer who was getting ready to work the Florida State University football game rushed to the scene and shot the gunman dead.
Names of the the dead deputy, the gunman, and the wounded policeman have not been released at this time. Neither has information related to the previous threats the man made against police. According to the information provided by this source, the shootings were captured on surveillance video from homes in the neighborhood.
The home was still smoldering as night fell over the disturbed neighborhood, hours after the man set the home on fire. Investigators were shifting through the remains looking for evidence and believe nobody was killed in the home fire.
“It is almost unimaginable that a call for help turned into the ambush of a Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy and the shooting of another deputy by the assailant. Every one of these first responders is a hero and our hearts go out to them and their families,” Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said in a statement as reported by the AP.
Joan Cabbage, a neighbor of the gunman said she called 911 as her husband, Henry, went outside to see if he could help. She witnessed two patrol cars arriving at the scene and then “pop, pop, pop, pop, pop” which she thought were explosions coming from the fire.
“I saw a fire truck and he started backing up real fast — I couldn’t figure out why,” she said. Her daughter, who had just left the house, called saying cops were running down the street with guns drawn. “That’s when I knew something big was going on,” Cabbage said.
The man set the house on fire and killed a police officer just two days after a shooter wounded three people in an attack at Florida State University, in the state capital.
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