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Leon Sheriff's Deputy Killed, Another Wounded In Ambush

A Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy is dead and another wounded after they were ambushed by a man who started shooting at them as they responded to a house fire.

The confrontation occured in the Plantation Woods subdivision.

In a written statement, the Leon Sheriff’s office says, “the suspect took the fallen deputy’s firearm and began walking North on Caracus Court actively shooting at the first responders as they arrived on the scene.

The Sheriff’s office says the suspect, who has not been identified, also shot at firefighters as they arrived on the scene to fight the fire. He was killed when the Tallahassee Police Department arrived. TPD officers shot and killed him.

“Our fire and law enforcement officers put the safety of others above all else,” said Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. “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.”

It’s been a trying few days for local law enforcement agencies. Just two days ago, officers from TPD and Florida State University shot and killed a gunman who wounded two students and an FSU employee at FSU’s Strozier Library.

“This is the second horrific act of violence in the Capital City this week and it serves as a solemn reminder of the risk first responders put themselves in every day in service to our state,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer and Fire  Marshall Jeff Atwater. “We must continue to thank them for their service and remember those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our safety.”

Governor Rick Scott’s office also issued a statement. Scott says he and First Lady Ann Scott are praying for the people impacted by the shootings. He adds, “Law enforcement in our state’s Capitol area faced especially tumultuous circumstances this week, and they have responded with the kind of bravery and heroism that families across Florida honor.”   

A press conference on the shootings was canceled today and has been reset for Sunday at noon.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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