A traffic stop along U.S. 192 in Brevard County, Florida ended with a deputy injured and a suspect dead after the suspect reportedly ambushed the officers with a gun.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday released a video statement and dashcam footage of the August 30 incident in Melbourne, defending the officers in the ambush by an “extremely violent career criminal” with a long history of charges while noting that “something is wrong” with the criminal justice system.
The dashcam video showed Deputy Tyler Thoman speaking to a woman outside the vehicle while another person was leaning against the back of the car. The suspected shooter was in the back of the car next to a 2-month-old baby and a dog. Deputy Brian Potters was also on scene and was engaging with the suspect politely, indicating he would watch the baby in the car while the suspect exited the vehicle.
But the suspect jumped out of the vehicle, opening fire. Potters retreated to create distance between himself and the shooter as he reached for his firearm and returned fire.
“The attack and ambush [were] perpetrated by a violent, career criminal, with a history of 40 charges for crimes including drug trafficking, aggravated assault while discharging a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer, and attempted first-degree felony murder,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in the video statement.
***Caution: Extreme violence***
(Video Credit: Brevard County Sheriff)
He also listed the suspect’s several prior convictions including, robbery with a firearm, failing to register as a career offender, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, resisting arrest with violence, and possession of a controlled substance.
“Even worse and more disgusting is that this career criminal — whose name doesn’t even deserve mentioning — was actually out on bond with active warrants for additional felony drug trafficking cases, where he could attempt to kill our deputies when he should have been safely locked behind bars, where he couldn’t victimize another citizen or innocent bystander,” the sheriff said.
“As you will see in the video that I am about to show,” Ivey continued, “the suspect was the initial aggressor as he concealed his weapon until exiting the vehicle and immediately firing upon our deputies with a pistol-grip style rifle in an attempt to take their lives and avoid arrest.”
The footage showed the suspect limping and appearing to be injured around the same time Potters was heard saying “I’m hit!”
The deputies moved around to take up a more advantageous position and the suspect struck Potters, who suffered from bone fractures, head lacerations, and tissue damage, according to Ivey. Thoman was not injured in the altercation.
The suspect died after Thoman shot him multiple times. Ivey reported that 61 shots were fired in all.
The sheriff expressed his thanks that “this suspect is no longer on this planet” and explained that the suspect was facing “several minimum mandatory prison sentences in his pending cases.”
“Let there be no doubt, this individual got exactly what he deserved,” the sheriff said after showing the dash camera video at full speed. “And to those out there that might be foolish enough to ask why we shot him so many times, that answer is simple: evil can never be dead enough.”
He then broke down the video and explained what was happening and why the deputies took the actions they did.
“This case is a perfect example of what is wrong with our criminal justice system,” Ivey said. “When a registered career criminal with 23 felony charges, 17 misdemeanor charges, multiple convictions for violent offenses and two active and pending drug trafficking cases is out on our streets where he can attempt to kill our deputies and put other lives at risk, something is wrong with our system.”
Many reactions concurred with the Sheriff’s analysis of the criminal justice system.
Meanwhile there’s some dude sitting in a prison somewhere doing a life sentence for nonviolent drug offenses. Then you have this actually super violent guy who really shouldn’t be on the streets, out here shooting at cops and shit lol. So wild
— eudaimonia (@JayJay_Ellison) September 11, 2021
Others mocked the ‘defund the police’ movement.
Could they not have called some social workers in to de escalate the situation first?
— Al Powell (@Jrnmitchell) September 11, 2021
And others simply relished in the quick justice that was delivered to the suspect.
— 🏖️🌴Raptors Florida Fanatic | Skye High Stables (@ScottDMacLeod) September 11, 2021
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