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Officer-involved shooting investigated in Okeechobee County

Posted: 7:53 AM, Aug 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-07 18:47:38-04
Officer-involved shooting in Okeechobee County

The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office says an armed man involved in a domestic violence situation was fatally shot by Deputies Monday night.

Sheriff Noel E. Stephen says Deputies responded to a domestic violence situation where a man armed himself and fled. A low-speed chase ensued to another location, where the armed man held a gun to his own head.

According to Sheriff Stephen, at one point the armed man approached Deputies while still armed and Deputies fired "less than lethal" rounds at him, attempting to stop his advancement towards them.

Those efforts were unsuccessful and Deputies fired lethal rounds at the man, killing him.

Sheriff Stephen issued the following statement on Tuesday, August 7, 2018:

On Monday, August 6, 2018 at approximately 8:10 pm a domestic violence situation commenced within Okeechobee County. My office was contacted, responded which lead to a suspect arming himself with a  firearm and fleeing from my Deputies. A low-speed chase ensued with Deputies pursuing this suspect to another location within Okeechobee County. At this point, the armed suspect confronted my Deputies while he held a firearm to his own head. Deputies starting communicating with the armed suspect while securing the other residents within the area. My Crisis Negotiation Team and my Special Response Team, comprised of my Deputies and members of the Okeechobee City Police, were summoned to the scene to assist with the situation.

On the same date, at approximately 11:00 pm the armed suspect chose to approach my Deputies while still armed. Several "Less than Lethal" rounds were fired upon the armed suspect but were unsuccessful in ceasing the armed suspect's advancement towards my Deputies. "Lethal Force" then had to be applied and the armed suspect was subdued.

This case has been turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office for further investigation. Each of my Deputies have been touched by St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office Critical Incident Team as well as my Agency Chaplain Brother Joe Bishop. The Deputies and Officer who engaged the armed suspect are on Administrative Leave with pay pending the initial investigation phase.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families involved along with my men and women. We train for these situations and hope the day never comes but it is the scary direction of our society today.