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Just Senseless

The Northwest Florida Daily News reports: Two Okaloosa deputies slain, gunman dead:

CRESTVIEW – A gunman shot and killed two Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies Saturday afternoon as they were attempting to arrest him for an earlier domestic violence incident.

The gunman then fled in a pickup truck to DeFuniak Springs, where he was killed in a shootout after lawmen rammed his truck.

Joshua Cartwright, 28, shot deputies Warren “Skip” York and Burt Lopez just before 1 p.m. at the Shoal River Gun Club, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The deputies were pronounced dead at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola a short time later.

The deputies were at the gun club responding after a domestic violence call from Cartwright’s apartment in Fort Walton Beach – the Consul Apartments on Monahan Drive.

York and Lopez became the second and third Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputies to be killed in the line of duty in the county in less than a year. The first was Tony Forgione, who died in July as the agency’s Special Response Team entered the home of an armed man wanted for mental health evaluation. Forgione was the first deputy ever to die in the line of duty in the county.

On top of all of the other bad news that has been hammering the Sheriff’s Office lately this is devastating. I give these guys a hard time, but that has been because they have never had a deputy killed until last year, as things really, have always been fist-fights, not knives or guns.

This is just senseless. It was a domestic violence charge, not robbery or murder. If his wife wasn’t injured badly, around here he was looking at an anger management program and probation after minimal jail time. There has to be something else going on, because this is looking like “suicide by police”, i.e. this guy wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. If that’s what he wanted, he could have gone to any number of bridges, poured gasoline over himself and jumped. He would have gotten media attention, without beating up his wife and killing two deputies.

5 comments

1 sally { 04.25.09 at 9:10 pm }

How awful!
Jason must have had a death wish, NOT a suicide by police.

The awful thing is the family members that will be hurt by all of this.

The FAMILY MEMBERS , all those in shock, grieving and hurting from the loss of the 2 deputies and the shock of any family members of the killer. Let’s remember the grieving families in prayer.

2 oldwhitelady { 04.25.09 at 9:33 pm }

Senseless is right. It’s also frightening.

oldwhitelady´s last blog post..Friday Cat Blogging – Torturing the fern.

3 Bryan { 04.25.09 at 10:08 pm }

Sally, I was in law enforcement for a decade, and “suicide by police” is a police term for someone who, for no logical reason, starts down a path that is going to lead to a shoot out and probably death.

If those deputies had suspected there was going to be a problem, they would have asked for the Special Response Team, especially since the suspect was at the gun club. They walked in there expecting to just pick him up and take him back up the road to the jail, just a couple of miles away on US-90.

You have to wonder if he isn’t going to turn out to be the person who called and reported his location.

It’s always the families that get hurt by these things. It shouldn’t have happened. There was no reason for it to happen.

Crazy people have always been in the population, OWL. We just hear about them now.

4 Kryten42 { 04.25.09 at 10:18 pm }

The sad thing is that, as the recession worsens, this is probably just the beginning.

5 Bryan { 04.25.09 at 10:22 pm }

I’m afraid you’re right, Kryten. I think we will found out he lost his job, and that was too much for him to handle. That is all too common in these episodes.