A man known to local law enforcement for having anti-government views shot and killed Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher L. Smith this past weekend. In an emotional press conference Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office, Tallahassee Police Department and Fire Officials outlined the events that led to the first death of a sheriff’s deputy in the county in a century.
"I’m going to ask you bear with me, this is extremely difficult," says, his voice cracking and trembling as he recounts the twelve minutes between when Deputies Christopher L. Smith and Colin Wulfekuhl arrive Saturday morning to a house fire—and when the man who ambushes them is finally killed. Deputy Smith, who was shot several times and killed, was 47-years-old.
“He was a loving Christian man. He loved his wife, and his children most of all," McQuaig says.
Wulfekuhl was shot in the back but kept shooting at the suspect. McQuaig says the bulletproof vest Wulfekuhl wore probably saved his life As firefighters arrived they were also fired upon by 53-year old Curtis Wade Holley. Holley also began firing at Tallahassee Police Officers Mark Lewis and Scott Angulo as they arrived in response to a call of, “officer down.” Angulo eventually shot and killed Holley, who held anti-government views.
“We have information we receive that this person was anti-government, anti-establishment and had discussed at some time, planning to harm law enforcement," said LCSO spokesman McQuaig.
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell says Smith's death is the first time a Leon Sheriff's Deputy has been killed in 100 years.
“Each person represented here to day knows full well today may be the last time he or she puts on a uniform and reports for duty, Campbell says, his voice breaking with emotion. "Each of us knows the day may be the last time we see our husbands, wives and children. Sadly, today is one such occasion.”
The Sheriff’s office says Holley was renting the house and intentionally set the fire to lure first responders into a trap. Smith’s family is asking for privacy. Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate the events surrounding the shooting.