Polk County Deputy Blane Lane, 21, fatally shot by fellow deputy while serving warrant

Sheriff says deputies opened fire at suspect armed with realistic-looking BB gun, not knowing Lane's tactical position
Deputy Blane Lane, Polk County deputy fatally shot while serving warrant
Posted at 10:24 AM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-04 18:48:27-04

POLK CITY, Fla. — A 21-year-old deputy appeared to have been fatally shot by another deputy with whom he was serving a warrant in central Florida early Tuesday, Polk County's sheriff said.

Deputy Blane Lane was shot in the left arm and chest at a trailer in Polk City while serving a warrant with three other deputies on a suspect wanted for failing to appear in court on a felony drug charge.

Shots were fired after deputies discovered the suspect, identified as Cheryl Williams, 46, whom Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd described as "a cranker," with what appeared to be a handgun pointed at them.

It turned out Williams was holding a realistic-looking BB gun, Judd said.

Two of the deputies fired their guns and Williams was shot twice, the sheriff said.

"We believe at this point in the investigation that six shots were fired," Judd said.

One of the shots also struck Lane, who was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he later died, Judd said.

Polk County deputies salute colleague killed while serving warrant
Polk County deputies salute their fallen 21-year-old colleague who was killed while serving a warrant Oct. 4, 2022, outside Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Lakeland, Fla.

The sheriff said the bullet that struck Lane went through his shoulder and entered his chest cavity.

Williams was also taken to a hospital, where she was in stable condition. Judd said she'll be charged with second-degree murder, among other charges.

"She clearly and unequivocally wanted to put us into a gunfight with her and/or a suicide by cop," Judd said. "She carried that gun into the room and then immediately pointed it at deputies as soon as she saw them."

The shooting investigation later revealed that Lane was in a tactical position outside the trailer, providing him a view of the door and windows so that he would see Williams if she tried to get away, Judd explained.

When the deputies approached the "gaming" room, they initially didn't see anyone, but Williams soon appeared, pointing the gun at them, Judd said.

The other deputies were identified as Sgt. Michael Brooks, Deputy Johnny Holsonback III and Deputy Adam Pennell. Judd said it was either Brooks or Holsonback who fired the fatal shot.

"What's the statistical probabilities that the conflict would be exactly beside where he was standing?" Judd said.

Judd said Lane was "soundly positioned" and performed "exactly as he should have."

"Had he literally be standing 3 inches in or 3 inches back, the round would have missed him," Judd said. "But he wasn't."

Judd said Lane, who was the father of a 3-year-old, had only been sworn in a few months ago.