Okaloosa mourns fallen
Okaloosa mourns fallen
Updated: Sunday, 26 Apr 2009, 10:19 PM CDT
Published : Sunday, 26 Apr 2009, 6:18 PM CDT
Photojournalist: Eric Lowe
Crestview, Fla. - Investigators still surround the Shoal River Shooting Range, as a flag flies at half mast.Okaloosa County is mourning the loss of two of their finest. Sheriff Edward Spooner, "We lost two very good men, Christian family men, with families, they served country in military, joined us, outstanding gentlemen."
Deputies Skip York and Burt Lopez were responding to a domestic disturbance call that led them to the shooting range. They were fatally shot in the parking lot as they tried to arrest the suspect, Joshua Cartright.
Sheriff Spooner said, "One deputy displayed and utilized a taser and took him to the ground, he came, he came up shooting, struck deputies, both deputies were shot several times. "
The suspect then fled, leading deputies on a high speed chase. It didn't end until he hit Defuniak Springs. Sheriff Spooner said, "At 331 north and us 90 they put out stop sticks, which made him lose control striking a bush, turning over, when suspect came out of vehicle, came out shooting, on the spot at deputies, they returned fire, striking and killing him."
The sheriff said between the two locations, close to a hundred shots were fired. The whole department is overwhelmed with grief. Captain J.D. Peacock supervised both deputies for the past several years. Captain Peacock said, "It's almost like you are numb with everything that's happened in last, year, both were great guy, professional, I know how professional they were. They're friends of mine, they always concerned themselves with officer safety. Just devastating to myself and everyone in agency."
This is the third deputy that's been killed in less than a year. The community is also devasted.
Deputy Tony Forgione was killed last July when they were responding to a swat operation.
Both York and Lopez were fathers, York had one child, Lopez leaves behind five. Both men were only 45-years-old.
Sunday night the sheriff addressed the employees about this tragedy. The funeral arrangements still haven't been set. The family has asked for privacy during this very tragic time.
All of this stemmed from a domestic disturbance call between the suspect and his wife. The domestic disturbance report said the argument between the couple started over a bottle of face cream.