A Florida man with a lengthy criminal record was killed in a shootout after he opened fire on sheriff’s deputies and bashed one of them in the skull.
The Brevard County sheriff’s department released dramatic video of a traffic stop that turned into a deadly shootout with an armed man described as a “violent career criminal” out on bond.
The incident started as what seemed like a routine traffic stop of a car in Melbourne that had three adults and a 2-month-old infant inside and a dog in the backseat.
As deputies are making small talk with two of the passengers, they ask a third to exit the vehicle.
He suddenly jumps out of the back seat with an AR 15 type rifle and opens fire repeatedly, as they scramble for cover and attempt to return fire. One deputy was shot in the leg.
As they duck down, they don’t see the gunman run around behind their patrol vehicle and sneak up on them.
His weapon had apparently jammed, so he used the butt of the rifle to bash one deputy in the skull and face repeatedly breaking his sinus and orbital bone. The other deputy quickly changes his clip and jumps in to assist, opening fire repeatedly at close range and killing the assailant.
Investigators say more than 61 bullets were fired in less than a minute.
The sheriff’s department describes the suspect, 38-year-old Paris Wilder of Cocoa as a “career offender” whose record includes 40 arrests for charges that included armed robbery, aggravated assault, drug offenses, battery of a law enforcement officer and attempted first degree felony murder. He was out on bond for two felony drug charges and had two active felony warrants at the time of the shootout with deputies.
“I’m just extremely thankful that our deputies are safe and the suspect is no longer on this planet where he could put someone else’s life in peril,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey.
The sheriff also said that Wilder got exactly what he deserved…
He said he was disturbed that after so many arrests in the past, Wilder was still out on the streets. And he said he will find out why.
The wounded deputy, Brian Potters, was shot in the lower leg and his skull was fractured with the butt of the rifle. He was hospitalized in stable condition and was expected to recover.