A career criminal who ambushed two sheriff’s deputies in Brevard County, Florida, died of his injuries last month after one of the deputies shot him with a magazine’s worth of ammunition.
The incident was caught on a dash cam, and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey addressed what occurred in a now-viral video posted on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
“I’m extremely thankful that our deputies are safe, and the suspect is no longer on this planet where he could put someone else’s life in peril,” Ivey said. “This individual had absolutely no regard for human life and was focused on only one thing: killing our deputies to avoid arrest.”
“Let there be no doubt: this individual got exactly what he deserved. And to those foolish enough to ask why we shot him so many times, the answer is simple: because evil can never be dead enough,” Ivey concluded.
The suspect was riding in the back seat of a car where he was sitting with a two-month-old infant child and a dog. When asked to step out of the vehicle, he pulled out an AR-pistol and opened fire.
He was out on bond with active warrants for additional drug trafficking cases, and Ivey believes he opened fire to avoid arrest.
The suspect had previously been charged with 40 crimes during the course of his career, including drug trafficking, aggravated assault while discharging a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer, and attempted first-degree felony murder.
He had been convicted of robbery with a firearm, failing to register as a career felon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, resisting arrest with violence, and possession of controlled substances.
Ivey told reporters that the suspect is the perfect example of “what’s wrong with our criminal justice system.”
“He should have been safety locked behind bars where he couldn’t victimize another citizen or innocent bystanders,” he said. “Something is wrong with our system, and it’s time that we as citizens say, enough is enough. I am personally sicked that this thug with such a violent criminal history is out of jail where he almost killed two of our deputies.”
One deputy sustained multiple injuries, including a gunshot wound to the leg, but both are expected to survive.
Incident begins at 3:32
The incident begins with relative calm. Deputy Brian Potters speaks with the suspect in the back seat of the car while Deputy Tyler Thoman speaks with a woman standing near a squad car. Another man leans against the suspect’s vehicle.
When Thoman asks Potters to get the suspect out of vehicle, the man emerges wielding an AR-pistol and begins firing at both deputies. A firefight ensures during which 61 shots are fired. The suspect appears to get hit in the leg, and Potters can be heard yelling that he’s been hit as well.
The suspect circles around behind the squad car, but Potters doesn’t seem to notice and continues firing in the direction of the suspect’s vehicle.
The suspect sneaks behind Potters and smashes him in the head with his pistol. Potters goes down while Thoman tries to shoot at the suspect, but Thoman appears to accidentally drop his magazine from his pistol. He reloads somewhere off-screen, and returns to fire 15 successive rounds at the suspect on the ground.
Potters suffered a gunshot wound to the lower leg, head lacerations, tissue damage, a concussion, and fractured orbital bones and sinuses, Ivey said. Thoman sustained no injuries.
GunsAmerica reached out to Ivey to find out how the suspect obtained his firearm, but did not immediately receive a response.