On July 5, 2021, deputies responded to a dispute at a location near NE Thomas Camp Rd. Upon arrival, deputies located a male subject who was walking in the road, armed with a handgun. Upon making initial contact, the subject began pointing the gun at his head, and at deputies. At some point during the interaction, the subject fired shots at deputies and gunfire was returned. The subject then fled into the woods. A perimeter was established to contain the subject with multiple agencies responding.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Negotiations Teams were deployed to try and bring the situation to a peaceful resolution. After negotiations deteriorated, and being concerned that the subject may be injured from the previous exchange, the decision was made to expedite apprehending the subject. Upon taking the subject into custody, it was learned that the subject had a gunshot wound but was still alive. First aid was rendered until the subject could be transported by EMS. It is unknown if the subject’s gunshot wound was self-inflicted, or sustained by law enforcement during the previous exchange of gunfire.
Sheriff Mark Hunter stated, “I am very proud of our deputies and the way they handled this situation. Without proper training and the professionalism of our deputies, this situation could have been more severe. I want to thank the Florida Highway Patrol, Department of Agriculture, Florida Wildlife Commission, Columbia County Fire Rescue, and Century Ambulance for assisting us.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an independent investigation, and the Sheriff’s Office will conduct an internal review as well. No deputies were injured during the incident.
Further information will be released when it becomes available.