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Trooper Joseph Bullock shot, killed on I-95 in Martin County, FHP says

Posted at 11:50 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 13:11:34-05

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Highway Patrol says Trooper Joseph Bullock, a 19-year veteran of the agency, was shot and killed on Wednesday in the line of duty on Interstate 95 in Martin County.

FHP said that around 10:15 a.m., the 42-year-old trooper was assisting a disabled vehicle in the northbound lanes of I-95 near mile marker 107, just south of Martin Highway.

A suspect who was with the disabled vehicle opened fire, shooting and killing Trooper Bullock.

"A Riviera Beach police officer who was passing by engaged the suspect, fatally shooting him," said Col. Gene Spaulding with FHP.

The name of the suspect has not been released. Witnesses said the suspect was angry about having to pay to tow the car.

"It's a tragic loss for the Florida Highway Patrol family," said Col. Spaulding, who added that Trooper Bullock is survived by his parents and two sisters. "It will take a long time for the Florida Highway Patrol to heal."


NEWS CONFERENCE: FHP officials give update on trooper killed in Martin County

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is taking over the investigation, according to FHP.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Florida Highway Patrol released this statement:

"Today, the entire Florida Highway Patrol and FLHSMV family is heartbroken as we mourn the tragic loss of Trooper Joseph Bullock, a nearly 19-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol who chose to make selflessly serving and protecting others his life's work. Please keep his family and his team members in your prayers."

Around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a procession involving dozens of law enforcement officers led the body of Trooper Bullock to the Medical Examiner's Office in Fort Pierce.


PROCESSION VIDEO: FHP trooper killed on I-95 in Martin County

All north and southbound lanes of I-95 were shut down for hours between Kanner Highway (mile marker 101) and Becker Road (mile marker 114), but they reopened just before 6 p.m.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office expressed its condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Trooper Bullock and posted a video on Facebook of Wednesday's powerful procession.

FHP said Trooper Bullock spent his entire law enforcement career with Troop L (Fort Pierce) and was a field training officer, training and mentoring young troopers. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Condolences poured in Wednesday from law enforcement agencies across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, who expressed their sorrow at Trooper Bullock's tragic passing.

The Riviera Beach Police Department said the officer who shot and killed the suspect is on administrative leave, but have not identified him.