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Six MCSO deputies on paid administrative leave after two separate shooting incidents, receive counseling

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 5:11 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Law enforcement officials put their lives on the line to keep us safe every day, and a growing number of their calls are recorded on video.

Over the course of a month, six Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies were faced with life or death situations.

On Nov. 15, three deputies responded to a reported shooting in the Orange Springs/Fort McCoy area. That incident ended with deputies killing a man after he threatened them with a shotgun.

At approximately 7:40 p.m. on November 15, 2021, deputies responded to the area of NE 140th Avenue and NE 245th Street...

Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Monday, November 15, 2021

On Nov. 29, deputies were shot at while responding to a shots fired call in Silver Springs. Nobody was injured in that incident.

“It’s very difficult for us on our end to catch that until it’s sometimes too late. We do find some on traffic stops and things like that but a lot of these fire arms are stolen,” MCSO Public Relations Director, Sgt. Paul Bloom said.

Armed Suspect Fires Shotgun at Deputy

ARMED SUSPECT FIRES SHOTGUN AT DEPUTY On November 30, 2021, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Deputy Fretts, Deputy Stringer, and Deputy Griggs responded to a report of a shooting into a dwelling on NE 84th Place, in Silver Springs. Upon arrival, the victims advised that their neighbor, Phillip Luke (W/M, DOB: 10/28/1961), fired multiple shots at their home while they were inside with their two children. Deputy Griggs gathered information from the victims while Deputy Stringer and Deputy Fretts continued to investigate. Deputy Fretts attempted to make contact with Luke by knocking on the front door of Luke’s home and announcing his presence as a member of the Sheriff’s Office. Approximately thirty (30) seconds later, Luke fired a shotgun through the closed front door of his home at Deputy Fretts. Deputy Fretts retreated to his vehicle to await backup. Several additional deputies arrived to set up a perimeter around the home to apprehend Luke. After approximately one (1) hour, Luke exited his residence and surrendered to deputies on scene. Sheriff Billy Woods said, “Every day, each one of my deputies faces situations that have the potential to become dangerous or even deadly. That night, Deputy Fretts relied upon his training and, by the grace of God, he was not injured or killed. Please, keep my deputies in your prayers.” Luke was placed under arrest and charged with Shooting into a Dwelling, Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Cruelty Toward a Child (2 counts), and Using a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. He was transported to the Marion County Jail, where he is held on a $75,000 bond.

Posted by Marion County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, December 2, 2021

In these situations, deputies are put on paid administrative leave and receive counseling services.

“This is something that’s going to be with them for the rest of their lives. They didn’t want to have to do that. They were forced to do this and it’s unfortunate,” Bloom said.

The Nov. 15 incident is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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