A Florida sheriff's deputy died on Monday morning, according to Fox News. The deputy died one day after being shot in the head while responding to a neighbor dispute involving a cat.
The Highlands County Sheriff's Office remarked on Facebook that Deputy William Gentry was seriously wounded on Sunday night while responding to a dispute between neighbors over a car. The Sheriff's Office was deeply saddened by the news of a fellow officer being shot.
"It is with tremendous sadness that we report that Deputy William J. Gentry Jr. passed away at 1:10 pm today, May 7, at Lee Memorial Hospital as a result of his injuries. Please keep his family and our HCSO family in your prayers," said the Highlands County Sheriff's Office over Twitter.
Sheriff Paul Blackman informed reporters that after speaking with the cat's owner, Gentry then approached the man suspected of shooting the cat. The suspected cat-shooter was 69-year-old Joseph Edward Ables, who was at his Lake Placid front door when the officer arrived. Ables, after seeing the deputy, shot him in the head shortly before 8 pm on Sunday. 40-year-old deputy Gentry was then rushed to a nearby hospital.
Ables was arrested on the spot. He is currently being held without bond on charges that include attempted first-degree murder and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Of course, it is likely that the deputy's death will bring new charges.
It is unclear at this time whether Ables has an attorney.
Family and friends are shocked after learning about this tragedy. Governor Rick Scott, too, tweeted on Sunday that he is deeply saddened by this "evil" incident.
"William is an experienced law enforcement officer and serves as one of our Field Training Deputies," Sheriff Paul Blackman said, according to Fox News. "His brother is one of our detectives. This is an unimaginable tragedy for our agency. Our prayers are with Deputy Gentry and his family."
He added that, "We are asking our community, here in Lake Placid as well as Highlands County to please pray for Deputy Gentry and hope that he will see his way through this."
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