Lee Co Sheriff: Everything points to justifiable use of deadly force
Fox 4 News Staff
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Lee County Sheriff telling us more about what led one of his deputies to shoot a suspect on I-75, which shut down the highway for hours.
Sheriff Mike Scott says it's been a tough week dealing with two deputy-involved shootings in two days. But he says he's confident his men will be cleared to return to work.
"Did the deputy follow protocol when he used deadly force?" asked Fox 4 reporter Gabrielle Sarann to Sheriff Scott. "He absolutely did," he replied.
Sheriff Scott supports his deputy's call to open fire Wednesday along I-75 in North Fort Myers.
"A vehicle accelerating toward you, trying to hit you, is deadly force by accellerating in essence a 3,000 pound bullet toward my guy," added Sheriff Scott.
He says the investigator involved, who's name has not been released, responded appropriately when he shot at and grazed 23-year-old Matthew Wilson's shoulder. This happened after the two collided near the exit ramp and deputies say Wilson started revving his engine.
"When we're met with deadly force in law enforcement, we meet deadly force with deadly force," explained Sheriff Scott.
He says deputy-involved shootings are rare in the county.
"Thus far this year, we've handled about 310,00 calls for service," said Sheriff Scott. "You can count on one hand the number of times we've had to discharge weapons or even draw a weapon."
The Lee County Sheriff's Office says there have been five deputy-involved shootings so far this year, six last year and two in 2011. The previous one occurred Monday night in Bonita springs. A deputy shot and killed a woman as he was responding to a domestic disturbance.
"It's a split second decision," explained Sheriff Scott. "It's a large responsibility. One that we train for and take very seriously."
Sheriff Scott says it should take a week to 10 days to complete the investigation into the deputy's actions. In the meantime, the detective has been placed on administrative leave. This is standard procedure.