Two Florida deputies were injured in a shootout Saturday morning, which began with a girl’s call for help. Her father, she said, had fired a gun at her mother’s Amazon Alexa smart speaker.
Members of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Humboldt Avenue home after midnight and encountered 62-year-old Terrance Peterson, who was armed with an AK-47 and a handgun and prepared for what police described as a “gun battle.”
During a news conference Monday, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said it shows “how scary it is when people have the constitutional right to carry” and when, like Peterson, they apparently intend to “to kill all law enforcement officers,” he told reporters.
Peterson began firing after the sheriff’s deputies spent 45 minutes trying to coax him from the home.
“He started firing at us. We fired back,” Nocco said as he described the bullet-riddled crime scene.
One deputy’s hand was hit. Another bullet severed K-9 deputy Chris Stone’s femoral artery in the thigh, where laceration can lead to massive blood loss and swift death. If not for his fellow officers’ quick and courageous response, Nocco said, Stone, 41, may not have survived.
After Stone began bleeding out, another deputy grabbed him and dragged him to safety, according to the sheriff’s office. Other officers, unsure of how many times Stone had been hit, searched his body for other injuries and tied a tourniquet on his wounded leg.
Nocco described Peterson standing at the front window and shooting at the officers as they worked desperately to save their colleague’s life.
“It’s just evil,” he said, “taking more rounds from an AK-47 toward the deputies.”
As of Monday, Stone — a second-generation law-enforcement officer who joined Pasco’s K-9 force in 2017 — was expected to recover fully.
Peterson was also found injured but is expected to recover. It remains unclear whether his wound was self-inflicted, authorities said.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Peterson’s family left their one-story home as soon as officers arrived.
The Sheriff’s Office said Peterson, who had a prior domestic battery arrest, will be charged with one count of domestic violence and at least five counts of attempted murder.
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