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Brevard sheriff's deputy shot, critically injured

Suspected gunman taken to hospital after being shot by deputies

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PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. – A Brevard County deputy, shot several times during a prostitution investigation, is listed in critical condition.

Investigative Agent John "Casey" Smith was shot during the incident, which began as an investigation into complaints of prostitution at a home on Covina Street in Port St. John.

As investigators approached the home to take 42-year-old Mary Ellyn DeRossett into custody, her uncle, John DeRossett, 65, emerged from the house and opened fire, hitting Smith several times, authorities said.  

Smith and the two deputies he was with returned fire, striking the suspect, according to officials.

Smith has been with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office since August 2009, and he was rushed to a hospital and underwent surgery.  

He was listed in critical condition. 

Neighbors told Local 6 they've long suspected something illegal was happening inside the home.

Mary Ellyn DeRossett was arrested just last month on prostitution charges.

When the gunfire erupted Thursday night, some neighbors put things together quickly.

"You know, your first sense is it could be firecrackers," said Kathy Wood. "My gut said, 'oh, hell no. That was not firecrackers.'"

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and the Sheriff's Office family at this time," Ivey said during a news conference.

Officials said Smith has been awarded with multiple letters of appreciation, commendable service awards, a deputy of the month and a meritorious award.

The suspected gunman, John DeRossett, was also taken to a hospital.  

He was listed in stable condition. He has no local arrest history, deputies said.

The sheriff's office said agents Peter Stead and Agent Jason Roberts assisted in the incident.  All three deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in law enforcement shootings. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate.

Blood opportunities to help Agent Smith

As a result of his injuries, Smith has had multiple surgeries and is facing additional surgeries as doctors work to save his life, Ivey said.

[PICS: Hundreds come out to donate blood]

At the time of the incident, Smith lost a significant amount of blood before doctors could stop the bleeding. Ivey said he has been given transfusions and is in the intensive care unit.

To help Smith, donators can respond to any of the below listed "One Blood Centers" and donate blood to the account of John "Casey" Smith to help facilitate his continued care, Ivey said.

For those planning to donate, One Blood recommends that you eat within four hours of donating blood and drink plenty of fluids prior to and after making a donation. If you would like to donate at a location outside of Brevard County you can find additional donor centers online here.

Rockledge Donor Center, 956 S US 1, Rockledge, FL 32955, (321) 632-2052
--Monday – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
--Tuesday – 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
--Wednesday – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
--Thursday – 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
--Friday – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
--Saturday – Closed
--Sunday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Melbourne Donor Center, 789 South Babcock St., Suite 127, Melbourne, FL 32901, (321) 768-8585
--Monday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--Tuesday – 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
--Wednesday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--Thursday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--Friday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--Saturday – Closed
--Sunday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Titusville Donor Center, 3880 South Washington Ave., Suite 210 and 212, Titusville, FL 32780, (321) 267-6712
--Monday – 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
--Tuesday – Closed
--Wednesday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--Thursday – 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
--Friday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--Saturday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
--Sunday – Closed?

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