A deputy in Tallahassee, Florida responded to a fire emergency yesterday morning, and was killed in the process.
The fire was reported in the Plantation Woods neighborhood of northwest Tallahassee, Florida, around 10 a.m. yesterday morning according to a Leon County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, James McQuaid. The first officer — whose name is currently being withheld — to arrive on the scene was shot and killed.
“He was ambushed and he was shot and he was killed.”
After shooting the deputy, the killer took the officer’s weapon and wounded another responding deputy, according to authorities. That second deputy was saved only by his bullet-resistant vest, and officials say his injuries are not considered serious.
Another Tallahassee police officer who lived nearby heard the shots. According to Tallahassee.com, the neighbor donned his own bullet-resistant vest, grabbed his handgun, and ran towards the house. The neighbor shot and killed the man with the gun who’d ambushed the other deputies.
According to USA Today, the names of the murdered officer, the wounded deputies, and the gunman have not been released. The reported fire was extinguished by the fire department.
Tallahasse Mayor Andrew Gillum spoke about the tragedy yesterday.
“Our fire and law enforcement officers put the safety of others above all else. 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.”
The house that was on fire on Caracus Court was owned by Cheryl Barfield. Barfield — who currently lives in Titusville, Florida — said that her sister was house-sitting the home that started on fire. Barfield declined further comment Saturday afternoon. This particular section of Caracus Court is filled with single-family homes near the Springwood Elementary School.
Another man who lives in the neighborhood, Brad Baker, was at work at the time of the shooting, but rushed home to be with his wife and 1 year-old daughter.
“One of the main reasons why I moved here was because there were so many police officers and firemen in this neighborhood, and it’s crazy to think something like that could happen right down the street.”
The investigation into the apparent ambush of the Tallahassee, Florida, deputies remains under investigation. More details, including the names of the victims and the shooter, are expected at a press conference scheduled for later today.
[Image via Oregon Live]