A central Florida deputy shot a man to death during a standoff after authorities say the man pointed a stapler at the deputy.
The deputy, 64-year-old Bill Myers, had just finished serving a domestic violence injunction to Joel Dixon Smith, 33, in Shalimar, when Smith shot him in the back multiple times and in the head once, Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley said.
According to the news account, Myers was a law enforcement veteran who had rejoined the Sheriff’s Office in Okaloosa County to save money to take his granddaughter and family to Disney World. But it doesn’t change the sheriff’s mind that the deputy did what he should.
At a news conference in Shalimar on Tuesday afternoon, Ashley said his agency was heartbroken by Myers’ passing.
Authorities say the shooter, 33-year-old Joel Dixon Smith, fled and barricaded himself in a nearby hotel room where he was later killed in a confrontation with police. Myers was taken to a hospital where he died. The unidentified officer underwent surgery mid-morning, according to Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Michele Nicholson said. His name hasn’t been released, either. Florida’s law enforcement officers risk their lives daily to protect others, and any act of violence against these fearless heroes is shameful and cowardly.
It was unclear what prompted the shooting.
At the Comfort Suites, guest David Bump of Ozark, Alabama, said he awoke Tuesday to deputies pounding at his room.
Deputy Myers fulfilled his mission as an OCSO deputy by ensuring fair and equal administration of the law, by safeguarding civil liberties and preserving public safety, and doing it with professionalism and goal while earning the public’s trust.
Police reportedly fired tear gas into the hotel room Smith had barricaded himself in.
Allen said she saw the deputy sheriff on the ground moments later.
“We heard “pop, pop, pop, ‘” she said”.
Smith had been arrested for domestic battery in 2008, Ashley said, without providing further details.
“It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen”, Wray said.
“I didn’t want to get anybody hurt, so I went back”.