WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw defended deputy Joshua McGee Friday.
Earlier in the week the deputy, who was off duty, shot a neighbor who attacked him, according to the sheriff's office.
The sheriff says it is disheartening to see people criticizing the deputy who he says was defending himself from a mentally challenged man. Investigators say they have no reason to believe the man, identified as Aldo Alvarez, was armed.
They say there was a physical altercation in the deputy's garage and the sheriff went as far as to say they "came pretty close" to losing a deputy.
"It is bad enough that the deputy got attacked, but can you imagine being attacked in your own home? That is unconscionable, but that is the society we are living in," Sheriff Bradshaw said.
Alvarez remains in serious condition at St. Mary's Medical Center after his mother says he was shot in the arm, stomach, and hands.
She said her son would never hurt anyone and doesn't understand what happened to him.
The deputy remains on paid administrative leave.