FDLE releases interview between agents, Brevard sheriff's deputy charged with murder

Former deputy fatally shot unarmed man on Father's Day

Four days after FDLE says he shot and killed 25-year-old Clarence Howard in a Father's Day road rage incident, Brevard County Sheriff's Deputy Yousef Hafza could not convince agents he was telling the truth when he said he shot Howard in self-defense.

"I thought he was going to hurt me or kill me," Hafza is heard telling agents during an interview conducted June 23.

"It's not jibing to me," an agent replied.

"That's what happened," said Hafza.

For over an hour, agents grilled the now former deputy why he never identified himself as a sheriff's deputy or called authorities before the shooting.

"You know what does make you look like a law enforcement officer, the badge," said an FDLE agent.

"Yeah, I didn't think about the badge at that moment," replied Hafza.

"Why didn't you ever call 911," the agent continued questioning.

"Because I was trying to focus on driving," answered Hafza.

Hafza told agents everything happened so fast that in the moment he could only think of protecting himself.
Which raised another question from FDLE - why Hafza parked his car and got out with his gun instead of driving away.

"I'm just having a hard time believing your car, you couldn't hit the gas and get around him," said an FDLE agent.

"You know what, I probably could have. I tried to do that and he kept accelerating next to me," Hafza replied.
"I'm telling you, I've got a hard time buying that," said the agent.

Another dispute, where Howard's body dropped when he was shot.

FDLE says Howard was farther away from Hafza than the deputy recalled.

"Where he was found was not where he was shot, no way," Hafza told investigators. "He moved, had to move or someone dragged him."

An agent replied, "His spine was snapped. It was shot through. So he couldn't have moved."

"That's not where he was at," Hafza continued.

"No, no, Yousef. That's where he died," the agent said.

Hafza is charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. His trial date has yet to be set.

About the Author: