Posted: 3:38 p.m. Saturday, June 26, 2010
LAKELAND, Fla. — Two deputies confronted a man on a bicycle early Friday morning when he allegedly pulled out a gun and started shooting.
According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Mike Braswell and Deputy Paul Fairbanks III confronted a suspicious, white male as he was riding a bicycle. After being stopped because his bike didn't have lights or reflectors on it, the suspect was initially cooperative. However, when the deputies asked for permission to search him, he pulled out a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun and opened fire on the deputies.
The deputies were saved by bulletproof vests.
“He just busted out with this firearm all of a sudden without any warning at all,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
Both deputies were shot, but managed to returned fire and the suspect fell to the ground. The sheriff said 21-year-old Matthew Tutt then grabbed his semi-automatic handgun and began shooting again.
“I hear the gunshots go off, ‘Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!’ And I heard another set of gunshots a few seconds later,” eyewitness Dayton Carr said.
Deputy Mike Braswell, 32, was shot in the extremities, and Deputy Paul Fairbanks III, 58, was shot in the stomach and arm.