Two Florida deputies shot, suspect killed in gun battle

Written by on April 27, 2024

Polk County Sheriff’s Office

(LAKELAND, Fla.) — Two deputies in Lakeland, Florida, were shot and a suspect was killed after a gun battle ensued in an area known for vehicle break-ins and burglaries, according to police.

One deputy is in critical, but stable, condition and the other is in stable condition. Both are recovering in the ICU, according to police

A deputy approached a vehicle deemed suspicious in a park and asked a male to exit the vehicle but he refused, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference Saturday.

The deputy then retreated to her patrol vehicle and called for backup, according to the sheriff. With four deputies on the scene, they attempted to remove the male — who the sheriff described as a “sovereign citizen,” — when the vehicle started moving before the suspect produced a gun and shot two deputies.

One deputy suffered four gunshot wounds in his right arm and another was shot once through the arm and into his chest. Police returned gunfire and “shot a lot,” but police are unsure how many rounds were shot, according to the sheriff.

The suspect, who is believed to have been living out of his vehicle, was killed in a gun battle.

“He asked for a gun fight and we gave him a gun fight. And he’ll never be in another gun fight again because he’s dead, like he asked for,” Judd said.

“He chose that outcome and we obliged it,” Judd said.

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