PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputy, who was off duty, shot a neighbor who attacked him, according to the sheriff's office.
It happened in the 600 block of Garden Cress Trail in Royal Palm Beach just after 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Neighbors heard gunshots and ran outside to see what was going on.
"First reaction was why did it happen? Why would they go into a house with a sheriff's car in front? said neighbor Mica O'Gilvie.
Investigators say the deputy shot Aldo Alvarez in his garage after the man attacked him in the driveway.
"He couldn't get away from the subject, he was in fear for his life and he fired several times, striking the subject," said Palm Beach County Sheriff's Col. James Stormes.
Trauma Hawk transported the man to St. Mary's Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.
Investigators say after shooting Alvarez, the deputy gave him first aid. He felt he had no choice but to shoot.
"He felt he had no other options at that point but to use deadly force," said Col Stormes.
Deputies are investigating this as an officer-involved shooting because they say the deputy told Alvarez he was an officer. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol in these situations.
Alvarez will be charged with burglary and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Those in law enforcement, know the choice to use deadly force is made in a flash.
"The thinking process happens after the shooting and that's when it becomes surreal," said former Boca Raton Police Chief Andrew Scott.
In this case, Scott says, Florida law is likely on the deputy's side. "There's no need to retreat when you are in your home to prevent a violent confrontation, and so the use of deadly force is very liberal in one's own home," he said.
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