Deputy Garry Chambliss: Off-duty Indian River County deputy, shot, killed in Gifford

Posted at 10:56 PM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-19 13:54:13-05

An off-duty deputy with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office was shot and killed in Gifford Friday evening. 

The incident happened at approximately 9:30 p.m. on the 4400 block of 28th Avenue.

According to officials, Indian River County Sheriff's Corrections Deputy Garry Chambliss, a 27-year law enforcement veteran who was two and a half years away from retirement, suffered a gunshot wound. He was transported to the Indian River Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

Lt Eric Flowers, the spokesman for the Indian River County Sheriff's Office, added, "Just unthinkable to not only have to respond to a shooting, which our folks have done and do regularly, but to respond to a shooting and it's someone we know and love here at the IRC Sheriff's office, very very difficult night for everyone at the sheriffs office." 

Deputies received information that suspects were seen leaving the Gifford area in a black Chevrolet Camaro.

One suspect was located during a traffic stop at Powerline Road and County Road 510 and taken into custody, but deputies are currently searching for a second suspect.

The Indian River County Sheriff's Office confirms that one suspect, 21-year-old Makhail Chambliss, is in custody. IRCSO says Makhail Chambliss is a distant relative of Garry Chambliss. Deputies are still searching for another suspect. 

Detectives say there was several people gathered in the 4300 and 4400 blocks of 28th avenue when Deputy Chambliss was visiting with family. Deputy Chambliss' relative Makhail Chambliss was in a car with a passenger heading north when an object was thrown at his car. Detectives say Makhail fired shots and as he was leaving an unidentified suspect fired back at Makhail's car. Detectives believe the bullet that killed Deputy Chambliss came from the second suspect who was firing a weapon from more than 100 yards away.

Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated, "Through the outstanding work of our Forensic Services Unit and Criminal Investigations Section, we have learned that Deputy Garry Chambliss was not the intended target of the bullet that struck and killed him. Nevertheless, he was the victim of this senseless act of violence by those with no regard for human life. Members of the Indian River County Sheriff's Office will continue to work tirelessly until Garry's killer is behind bars."

Deputy Chambliss' uncle says he's stuck between a rock and a hard place. He's mourning the loss of his nephew and coping with the arrest of his son, Makhail Chambliss. 

"I hate that he was there and it led up to my nephew being killed behind this. I got a little angry with him right now," said Michael Chambliss, Makhail's father. "Hoping that the other family don’t look at him different. I don't. He just made a bad choice by being at the wrong place at the wrong time." 
Every time someone describes what Deputy Chambliss was like, they can't help but mention his contagious smile and his sweet personality which landed him the nickname Kool-aid. 
"Garry was just a people's person, the world's most liked officer, relative, friend, and everything," said Michael. 
Michael says he has not talked tot his son yet, he's still processing what has happened to his family.
"I’m deeply torn, it’s just hurting me bad," added Chambliss. 

The shooting is under investigation. On Sunday morning bond for Makhail Chambliss was set at $50,000.

This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.