A newly released video shows Florida sheriff’s deputies being ambushed last month by a suspect described as a “violent career criminal.”
The incident occurred on Aug. 30 near West Melbourne as a routine traffic stop, according to KABC. Deputies with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office had pulled over a vehicle with three adult passengers and a two-month-old infant.
After making some conversation with the two others, the deputies ask the third passenger to exit the vehicle.
As seen in the video, that passenger quickly exits the vehicle and opens fire on the officers with an automatic firearm, forcing them to quickly take cover.
Eventually, it appears that the suspect’s weapon jams, forcing him to attack the officers with the butt of his gun. Around this point, one of the officers is able to fire on the suspect at close range, killing him. The incident also left one of the deputies with a bullet wound in his leg.
Investigators reported that over 60 bullet casings were found at the scene.
This latest incident echoes a similar one in Lakeland, Florida, recently, where authorities were ambushed and fired upon while responding to reports of an infant being shot. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed that a suspect was in custody and that no officers had been hurt.
Meanwhile, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office released the video of the West Melbourne shooting on social media as part of a press conference with Sheriff Wayne Ivey. While the assailant’s death is not seen in the frame, it is still marked as ‘graphic’ on Facebook, and viewer discretion is advised.
The suspect was later identified as Paris Wilder, 38, of Cocoa, Florida.
Ivey described Wilder as a career offender with around 40 arrests on his record. Over the years, Wilder faced charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, drug offenses, battery of a law enforcement officer, and attempted first-degree felony murder.
At the time of his death, Wilder had two active arrest warrants and was out on bond for felony drug charges.
“I’m just extremely thankful that our deputies are safe and the suspect is no longer on this planet where he could put someone else’s life in peril,” Ivey said. “Let there be no doubt: This individual got exactly what he deserved.”
The sheriff’s office also identified the wounded deputy as Brian Potters. In addition to his leg, Potters also suffered a skull fracture from when Wilder assaulted him with the butt of the weapon. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.
The other deputy involved was identified as Tyler Thoman.