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Florida deputy shot in Highlands County while responding to dispute about cat has died

Posted: 4:20 AM, May 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-07 20:14:12Z
FL deputy airlifted to hospital after shooting
FL deputy airlifted to hospital after shooting

A deputy in Central Florida has died after being shot in Highlands County Sunday night.

Deputy William Gentry was responding to a neighborhood dispute involving a cat that allegedly had been shot by 69-year-old Joseph Edward Ables.

The sheriff's office said Gentry went to speak to Ables when the suspect shot the deputy.

Gentry was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital and passed away Monday afternoon.

“William is an experienced law enforcement officer and serves as one of our Field Training Deputies,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “His brother is one of our detectives. This is an unimaginable tragedy for our agency. Our prayers are with Deputy Gentry and his family and we ask that your prayers be with them, also.”

Gentry, 40, worked for the Highlands County Sheriff's Office for more than nine years.

Ables, who is a convicted felon with a history of violence towards law enforcement, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Highlands County Jail.

Ables has been charged with: Attempted 1st-degree murder w/o premeditation, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, resisting an officer with violence tampering with evidence and violation of probation.