Two deputies fired on in public park

LAKELAND, FL – In a tragic turn of events, two Polk County sheriff’s deputies were gravely injured and the assailant killed in a shootout at a public park. The deputies were attempting to remove a non-compliant individual from his car when the situation escalated.

Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County lauded the deputies as heroes, stating that they were responding to a backup request after a colleague faced resistance from the man. The man’s car was discovered in the park after it had closed, leading to the initial confrontation.

Sheriff Judd revealed that the man was the first to open fire, to which the deputies responded in kind. “He sought a gunfight, and that’s precisely what he got. He won’t be involved in another, as he is now deceased,” Judd declared.

Deputies Lt. Chad Anderson and Craig Smith were the victims of the shootout. Anderson is in critical yet stable condition following a bullet wound that pierced his arm and chest. Smith, who was shot four times in the right arm, is stable in the ICU.

The situation unfolded as a total of four deputies and two trainees were trying to persuade the man to leave his vehicle. Anderson and Smith were at the car door when the man pulled out his gun and started shooting. The identity of the deceased suspect has not been disclosed.

State attorney Brian Haas, whose jurisdiction includes Polk County, confirmed an ongoing investigation into the incident. “Our priority is a thorough investigation, even if it requires more time,” Haas communicated to the press.