NEWS: Two Okaloosa deputies killed by gunman


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Gunman shot dead; deputies were flown to Sacred Heart Hospital

From staff reports

CRESTVIEW — Authorities say two Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies have been shot and killed.

Deputy Burt Lopez and Deputy Warren "Skip" York were shot by Joshua Cartwright of Fort Walton Beach while trying to arrest him in connection with a domestic violence case, Sheriff's spokeswoman Michelle Nicholson said.

The shooting occurred around 1 p.m. Saturday, when the two deputies went to Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center, near Crestview, Nicholson said.

Authorities say the suspect shot and hit both deputies and took off towards neighboring Walton County. The suspect's vehicle flipped while trying to evade spike strips. The suspect then started shooting at the pursuing Walton County deputies, who returned fire, killing him.

A man who answered the telephone at the shooting center said he had no comment on the shooting.

Nicholson said the injured deputies were airlifted to Pensacola because Okaloosa County does not have trauma center.

“It was serious because they had to be airlifted,” she said.

The Sheriff's Office will have a news conference in Shalimar at 9 tonight with more details.

Last year, An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed in August following a standoff with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

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April 26, 2009


Okaloosa deputies killed by gunman

Man later shot, killed in pursuit

Travis Griggs
[email protected]

Two Okaloosa County deputies were shot and killed Saturday afternoon at a gun club near Crestview while attempting to arrest a man on domestic violence charges.

The suspect, Joshua Cartwright, 28, of Fort Walton Beach fled the scene of the shooting and was later killed in a shootout with Walton County deputies in DeFuniak Springs, said Okaloosa County sheriff's spokeswoman Michele Nicholson.

Okaloosa deputies Burt Lopez and Warren "Skip" York were airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital where they were pronounced dead, Nicholson said.

"We did lose two very fine men today," said Okaloosa County Sheriff Edward Spooner. "They were both fine Christian men with families."

The initial shooting occurred shortly before 1 p.m. at Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center near Crestview on U.S. 90.

Okaloosa County officials said the deputies were attempting to arrest Cartwright in connection with a domestic violence incident at his Fort Walton Beach home earlier in the morning.

Spooner said that when deputies approached him, Cartwright raised his gun and fired, striking both deputies.

Cartwright then fled in a Chevrolet Silverado, leading Florida Highway Patrol troopers and Walton County deputies on a chase down U.S. 90 into DeFuniak Springs, Nicholson said.

Cartwright swerved to avoid a spike strip placed on the highway near U.S. 331, and a deputy opened fire on the truck and the truck flipped, Spooner said.

Cartwright began shooting at deputies from inside his vehicle, Nicholson said.

Witnesses said Cartwright then got out of the truck and continued firing at the deputies.

Deputies returned fire, killing him, Spooner said.

"Many, many, shots were fired in DeFuniak," Spooner said.

A man who answered the telephone at the shooting center said he had no comment on the shooting.

The deaths of the two deputies followed a shooting in July that left an Okaloosa County law enforcement officer dead. Okaloosa Deputy Anthony Forgione, 33, was shot and killed in a standoff with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

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