A Brevard County deputies is on paid, administrative leave after officials said he shot and killed a suspect early Saturday morning.
Deputies said around 4:11 a.m. Saturday, Deputy James Harrison saw a man driving erratically.
Officials said Harrison tried to pull the driver, later identified as 31-year-old Benjamin Dykeman, over during a traffic stop.
Deputies said Dykeman pulled over in the area of Sabal Elementary School on Wickham Road in Melbourne, but as Harrison was walking up to the vehicle, the driver accelerated hitting the deputy’s vehicle as he fled from the scene.
Deputies said Dykeman crashed his vehicle into a power pole at the intersection of Regency and Wickham Road, where Harrison again attempted to approach the vehicle.
The driver disregarded the deputy’s commands and intentionally drove the car towards Harrison, deputies said.
Deputies said Harrison was afraid for his life and shot at Dykeman, hitting him.
Dykeman crashed on Regency Drive and tried to run away from the crash.
Dykeman\r was located and apprehended in the entryway of an apartment complex located at 1093 June Drive after being tracked by a Melbourne Police K-9, deputies said.
Deputies said Dykeman was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center where he later died as a result of his injuries.
Deputies said. Dykeman has a criminal history including previous arrests for driving while license revoked, fleeing and eluding law enforcement and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Harrison is a thirteen-year veteran of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and is currently assigned as a patrol deputy in the South Precinct.
The death investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting an independent and parallel investigation regarding the use of deadly force.
Sheriff Jack Parker stated, “Our deputies are trained to respond to life and death situations and are forced to make split second decisions in the worst situations to protect themselves and others. Deputy James Harrison is a highly respected and professional law enforcement officer who was forced to deal with a deadly threat. We are thankful that no other persons were injured or killed as a result of the suspect's actions and we extend our most sincere condolences to the Dykeman family.”