76-year-old woman shot by Polk County Sheriff's deputy, officials say

The woman is charged with battery, aggravated assault


HAINES CITY, Fla. – A Polk County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a shooting Saturday night after a mother and daughter got in an argument on the side of a road. 

PCSO got a 911 call from a man driving down Carl Boozer Road around 5 p.m. after he saw a minivan pull off the road with two women fighting and screaming.

As the man went up to the vehicle, he was able to hear the driver, Wendy Schutte, 47, scream that the passenger Linda Wages, 76, had a gun and was going to shoot her. 

The man quickly left the area and called 911.

Polk County Sheriff's deputies and Haines City police officers officers immediately went to the scene. The first deputy to arrive on-scene was Deputy Christopher Johnston, who stopped his patrol car on the shoulder, facing the van.

Johnson observed the two women fighting in the van. Schutte, who was in the driver's seat, shouted to Johnston that the passenger, Wages, had a gun and was trying to shoot her, officials said.

The deputy ordered them both to show their hands.

Wages then ducked down out of sight. In fear for Schutte's life and his own safety, when Wages reappeared, the deputy fired his weapon, hitting her, officials said.

The deputy and other units immediately went to render aid to Wages. She was then transported to a nearby hospital. She was treated for gunshot wounds on the right side of her body, which do not appear to be life threatening. Surgery was not needed, authorities said.

Schutte complained of head pain and sustained injuries that are a result of being battered. An ambulance took her to a hospital and she was treated for apparent low blood sugar and her other injuries. Nobody else in the area was injured.

Schutte told officials that they were their way to Winn-Dixie in Haines City when she pulled over to compose herself after an argument that had just happened inside their shared home, authorities said.

According to a news release, "Schutte told deputies that Wages began to batter her by hitting her on the face, head, and shoulder, pulling her hair, and biting her. Wages then told Schutte that she (Wages) had a gun in her bag and she would shoot Schutte and "end it all" if she "didn't stop blubbering," at which time Schutte grabbed the bag and placed it under her left leg near the driver's door. This bag is what Wages was reaching for during the ongoing struggle, before and after Deputy Johnston arrived."

The news release added: "There was no gun found inside the bag or van. The bag belongs to Wages and her daughter believed there was a gun inside based on the suspect's actions and statements."

Wages has been charged with battery and aggravated assault. She will be booked into the Polk County Jail after her release from the hospital.

"Deputy Johnston will be on paid administrative leave per standard protocol. He has been a deputy for two years and is currently assigned to the northeast district," the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.