A graphic video shows two Florida police officers getting shot and then assaulted with the butt of an AR-15 style rifle by a gunman during a traffic stop in west Melbourne, Florida. The gunman was identified as Paris Wilder who is a wanted criminal for two active felony warrants.
The footage of the incident, which took place in August 30, was released by the sheriff's office on Friday.
Wilder Was Sitting in the Back Passenger Seat of the Car
The footage begins with the two deputies engaging in a conversation with the passengers and driver of a car during a traffic stop.
Brevard County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Potters is heard talking to a man and a woman about the two-month-old baby and the dog in the backseat of the car. "I'll watch him for you. He's alright. I've got babies. I'll make sure they're alright," Potters is heard saying as he asks the third passenger to exit from the car and talk to his partner Deputy Tyler Thoman.
Suddenly the back passenger door opens and a black man carrying a huge AR-15-style rifle emerges and starts shooting at the officers. The man was later identified as Wilder. As the shots are exchanged between the accused and the cops, the fellow passengers take a run.
Potters is then seen running away from the gunman as Wilder continues to shoot while hiding behind the car. It appears that Wilder was shot in the foot as he is seen hopping in the video. "I am hit. I am hit," Potters is also heard shouting.
At one point, Wilder's rifle appears to get jammed as he tries to shoot at Potters. He then uses the butt of the rifle to repeatedly hit the sheriff as he falls down to the ground. Finally, Thoman was seen firing multiple rounds towards the suspect, leading to the death of Wilder.
'61' Rounds Were Fired During the Shootout
According to the New York Post, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said that "61 rounds" were fired during the shootout between Wilder and the cops.
Confirming Wilder to be a "career criminal", Ivey said the attack and ambush [were] perpetrated by a violent, career criminal, with a history of 40 charges for crimes including drug trafficking, aggravated assault while discharging a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer, and attempted first-degree felony murder.
"For those out there who might be foolish enough to ask why we shot him so many times, that answer is simple â because evil can never be dead enough," Ivey said.
"This individual had absolutely no regard for human life and was focused on only one thing â killing our deputies to avoid arrest as he knew he was facing several minimum mandatory prison sentences in his pending cases," he went on to add. It was also revealed that Potters suffered gunshot wounds to his leg and buttocks.