Deputies Killed after Subduing Suspect with Stun Gun

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Niceville, FL—A sudden confrontation with a man accused of beating his wife turned deadly for two Florida law enforcement officers on Sunday morning.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies Burt Lopez and Warren “Skip” York had gone to a shooting range to arrest a man, Joshua Cartwright, on domestic abuse charges, after she had been hospitalized for her injuries. Despite Lopez’s reputation as being a good mediator in domestic cases, with the ability to defuse angry participants, Cartwright became enraged. The deputies fired a stun gun at him, but Cartwright nonetheless sat up and began firing at them, hitting both in areas not protected by their bulletproof vests.

Cartwright then tried to flee the scene, resulting a chase through a neighboring county. Officers set up a roadblock, which punctured his tires and stopped his truck, but Cartwright exited the vehicle and began shooting. The deputies at the roadblock fired back, killing the suspect.

Cartwright, a National Guard soldier, was interested in weapons training and militia activity. He was employed as a bouncer at a bar, and sometimes threatened customers with a sharp flashlight attachment.

Neighbors attested to the frequency of domestic disputes between Cartwright and his wife, and he had been arrested for domestic battery in November. Charges in that case were pending at the time of his death.

Over 300 sheriff’s office employees gathered on Sunday night to pray for their slain colleagues and hear an explanation of the incident. The department has already been rocked by death and scandal among its employees; the previous sheriff was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges earlier this year. Sheriff Charles Morris and his former office manager, Teresa Adams, were indicted last week on counts of theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges. Another deputy in the department, Anthony Forgione, was killed last July after being shot by a suicidal man.

York and Lopes was former Air Force members who had joined the sheriff’s office after retiring from the military. The interim sheriff, Ed Spooner, said that the two had no reason to believe that Cartwright would become violent upon his arrest.

“This went from zero to 100 in a matter of minutes,” said Spooner. “In three minutes it turned from a passive discussion to a shooting, it was one heck of a mess.”
Niceville, FL—A sudden confrontation with a man accused of beating his wife turned deadly for two Florida law enforcement officers on Sunday morning.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies Burt Lopez and Warren “Skip” York had gone to a shooting range to arrest a man, Joshua Cartwright, on domestic abuse charges, after she had been hospitalized for her injuries. Despite Lopez’s reputation as being a good mediator in domestic cases, with the ability to defuse angry participants, Cartwright became enraged. The deputies fired a stun gun at him, but Cartwright nonetheless sat up and began firing at them, hitting both in areas not protected by their bulletproof vests.

Cartwright then tried to flee the scene, resulting a chase through a neighboring county. Officers set up a roadblock, which punctured his tires and stopped his truck, but Cartwright exited the vehicle and began shooting. The deputies at the roadblock fired back, killing the suspect.

Cartwright, a National Guard soldier, was interested in weapons training and militia activity. He was employed as a bouncer at a bar, and sometimes threatened customers with a sharp flashlight attachment.

Neighbors attested to the frequency of domestic disputes between Cartwright and his wife, and he had been arrested for domestic battery in November. Charges in that case were pending at the time of his death.

Over 300 sheriff’s office employees gathered on Sunday night to pray for their slain colleagues and hear an explanation of the incident. The department has already been rocked by death and scandal among its employees; the previous sheriff was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges earlier this year. Sheriff Charles Morris and his former office manager, Teresa Adams, were indicted last week on counts of theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges. Another deputy in the department, Anthony Forgione, was killed last July after being shot by a suicidal man.

York and Lopes was former Air Force members who had joined the sheriff’s office after retiring from the military. The interim sheriff, Ed Spooner, said that the two had no reason to believe that Cartwright would become violent upon his arrest.

“This went from zero to 100 in a matter of minutes,” said Spooner. “In three minutes it turned from a passive discussion to a shooting, it was one heck of a mess.”

 

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