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Deputy shot near Boynton Beach while serving search warrant

Injured deputy expected to be OK
Deputy involved shooting in West Boynton Beach on July 28, 2021
Posted at 4:39 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 21:36:42-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — What was supposed to be a routine search warrant at a house in the Indian Springs Country Club Community near Boynton Beach quickly turned into anything but that.

The incident occurred just before 1 p.m. in the Indian Spring Country Club community off El Clair Ranch Road.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Thomas Robarge, 61, is accused of vandalizing cars and causing quite a bit of damage to vehicles in the neighborhood.

Deputies had the intent to observe the residence where Robarge was located and see if they could serve an arrest warrant to him for felony malicious mischief when he came outside.

After they determined he wasn't likely to exit any time soon, they knocked on the door of the residence at around 1 p.m.

Robarge's brother Timothy answered the door and deputies notified him they were there to serve a search warrant.

After entering the residence, several shots were fired from a darkened bedroom.

"Multiple shots rang out. One of the deputies was struck in the leg and the hand. The other deputies returned fire. The suspect retreated back into the bedroom," Bradshaw said.

Thomas Robarge then barricaded himself in the bedroom. His brother Timothy exited the residence and surrendered without incident.

"Once we came outside you can see shortly the suspect as the deputies are approaching for backup, he opens the door and tosses the gun outside," Major Talal Masri said.

The gun was eventually retrieved by a robot.

Man suspected of shooting deputy appears at door with gun in his hand

VIDEO: Footage from PBSO shows Thomas Robarge at the door with a weapon

Sheriff Bradshaw said a standoff ensued for about 60-90 minutes.

During that time PBSO SWAT team arrived and deployed several rounds of gas into the house.

Robarge then exited and surrendered without a fight.

"Shortly after the gas was deployed he came out the front door with his hands up wearing what you see him wearing and we took him into custody without incident," Masri said.

The injured deputy was hospitalized and is undergoing surgery today. Bradshaw said he is expected to make a full recovery.

Robarge will now face three counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

"That was not a serious warrant, even though the crime is serious as far as destroying people's property," Sheriff Bradshaw said. "So there's no really rhyme or reason unless he's involved with something else that we don't know about and he figured that we knew about it."

Bradshaw said deputies will execute another search warrant on the house to search for additional weapons, seize his computers and "see if there's anything else going on."

Sheriff Bradshaw said Thomas Robarge's brother Timothy did not appear to be an active participant in this incident.

Wednesday's shooting comes less than a week after deputies exchanged gunfire with a suspect in Lake Park. That person later died by suicide, according to the sheriff's office.