Veteran Florida sheriff's deputy killed serving an injunction

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 22, 2015 5:49 PM

(Reuters) - A man being served with a domestic violence injunction opened fire outside an attorney's office in Shalimar, Florida, on Tuesday, killing a sheriff's deputy, before being shot to death by officers after a standoff at a hotel, police said.

Deputy Bill Myers, 64, was shot multiple times in the back after leaving the office and died after being transported to hospital in nearby Fort Walton Beach, Osceola County Sheriff's office said in a press release.

Joel Dixon Smith, 33, was later killed by police after he barricaded himself in a hotel room, the sheriff's office said.

After an hour and a half of negotiations, Smith emerged from the room with a weapon, police said, before deputies shot him.

He was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center where he later died, according to the news release.

Smith, who had a history of domestic violence, was served with an injunction on Tuesday requiring him to surrender his firearm, Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley said at a news conference.

"He’s a coward. He was fearful, fearful of going to jail, fearful of losing his firearms," Ashley said. "He was fearful of everything. He was just a sick little coward."

Ashley said there was no indication there would be violence when deputies initially met Smith at an attorney’s office.

Initial evidence indicated four shots were fired at the office and it was unclear if Myers got off a shot, police said.

"Deputy Myers has been a treasured part of this agency’s family since 1989," Ashley said in the press release. “He served this community with distinction for decades. He was loved, admired, and respected for his dedication to the law enforcement profession."

(Reporting by David Adams and Letitia Stein; Editing by Bill Trott)