Family says man fatally shot by Volusia County deputy was deaf

Edward P. Miller shot dead in Daytona Beach


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Family members say a man fatally shot by a Volusia County sheriff's deputy was deaf from a childhood illness.

Sheriff Ben Johnson said after the shooting that 52-year-old Edward P. Miller was "brandishing a firearm" outside Fryer's Towing Company on Saturday afternoon in Daytona Beach.

The shooting remains under investigation by the sheriff's office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The Millers were trying to pick up a car from the towing service when an argument broke out.  Deputy Joel Hernandez and another deputy were at the business on another matter when they heard a heated argument going on outside.

"I'm releasing cars and I have a gentleman that was coming to pick up his vehicle and they're both drunk," the 911 caller told dispatchers. "The younger man, I kicked him off the property twice now. I told them they'd have to wait their turn and they're being belligerent and the younger man has a gun in the back side of him. I do not feel safe and I need an officer here."

Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson says Hernandez noticed Miller was armed, perceived a threat and fired. Both deputies are on leave pending the investigation.