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Shooting suspect killed in shootout with Martin County deputies

Victim of initial shooting also killed
Martin County deputy-involved shooting crime scene, March 24, 2021
Posted at 7:37 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 16:13:56-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A suspect is dead after an early morning shootout with Martin County Sheriff's Office deputies.

Deputies were called to Dixie Ross Street after a report of gunshots shortly before 4 a.m., Sheriff William Snyder said.

Sheriff William Snyder discusses deputy-involved shooting

A neighbor was speaking with a 911 dispatcher when her house was struck by multiple bullets, Snyder said.

When deputies arrived, they found a victim suffering from a gunshot wound outside a home.

While one of the three deputies was tending to the gunshot victim, the suspect came out of the home's garage and opened fire at the deputy, Snyder said.

"So now we have the one deputy who's trying to get to the gunshot victim to render aid is now being fired upon," Snyder said.

That deputy and two other deputies returned gunfire, shooting the suspect multiple times, Snyder said. The suspect died at the scene.

During the gun battle, the victim of the initial shooting also died, Snyder said.

"We don't know yet the relationship between the two people," Snyder said.

A dog inside the home was also shot to death.

"We're not sure yet who shot the dog," Snyder said.

The sheriff said the "working theory" of investigators is that the suspect lived at the home, but they haven't positively identified the two dead.

No deputies were injured, but Snyder admitted it could have been a lot worse.

"This guy got off some rounds before we returned fire," he said.

All three deputies were placed on administrative leave during the shooting investigation.

"None of us ever want to shoot anybody, but this was a clear case of self-defense," Snyder said. "It was return gunfire or be shot."