Miramar Beach, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The Walton County Sheriff is providing more details about a deputy-involved shooting that killed what officials say was an armed suspect.
“I believe the hardest thing any law enforcement officer has to do is make a decision to do that,” Adkinson said. “They acted professionally, they acted courageously, and this individual posed a clear and present danger to the public.”
Adkinson said around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, the sheriff’s office began receiving multiple calls about an armed man acting suspiciously in the area of Poinciana Boulevard in Miramar Beach.
It is suspected that he was trying to sell the gun. Around 11:40 p.m., we’re told deputies found the suspect in an alley behind the shopping center.
“The suspect became unruly and attempted to pull a gun to use on our deputies. Our deputies took immediate action,” Adkinson said. “The speed at which it went into a fatal encounter was a matter of a second, a second and a half. It happened so quickly. He made a decision, and that decision required immediate action from those deputy sheriffs.
Shortly after shooting the suspect, deputies attempted life-saving measures, but the suspect died. The sheriff said these situations are one of the most difficult challenges law enforcement faces.
“You never want someone’s life to end,” Adkinson said. “But at the end of the day, the number one priority is protecting the public, and at the end of the night my sheriff’s deputies go home.”
We’re told there is full body camera footage of the incident, although it won’t be released for at least a few months due to the ongoing investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“I requested that a secondary outside agency come in and do a review of our operations,” Adkinson said. “It is not required by law. As Sheriff, I made a decision to protect this organization by giving the public an answer to let the public know with complete transparency that we are fully prepared for anyone to examine the actions we take. “
The suspect’s name has not yet been released. Walton County Sheriff’s officials said next of kin are being notified and will wait until the FDLE’s investigation is complete.
We will continue to update this information as we learn more.
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