MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - A repeat, violent offender, who has assaulted law enforcement officers before, was shot and killed early Friday morning by a Martin County Sheriff's deputy, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said.
The sheriff said Deputy Sgt. James Warren, Sr. was investigating a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Scooters restaurant and bar around 1:30 a.m. Friday. He walked up to the vehicle and got into a conversation with the driver identified as 40-year-old Richard Haston.
According to the sheriff, a witness inside the car said Haston got out of the vehicle and there was an altercation.
The sheriff says Haston took off and ran about 25 yards and then doubled-back and got into his vehicle. At that point the sergeant caught up and stood in front of the car and ordered Haston to stop.
Sgt. Warren had his hand on the car with his gun drawn when Haston hit the deputy, the sheriff said.
The sergeant fired at least twice through the windshield and struck Haston in the upper torso, according to the sheriff. Haston died at the scene.
The sheriff said Sgt. Warren was hospitalized and has visible bruises and abrasions.
The sheriff said Haston is a repeat, felony offender.
"We're saddened that we had to take a life. Our responsibility is to protect life. It's never an easy thing to discharge our weapon at somebody. But at the end of the day, my deputy is safe. He's home with his family. I'm satisfied he did the right thing," the sheriff said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and State Attorney's Office are also investigating the case.