3 Polk deputies shoot, kill man after 1 of them is stabbed in head, sheriff’s office says

Elderly woman reports her son for trying to smother her, which led to shooting, deputies say

A photo from the scene Sunday (Jan. 23, 2022). (Photo provided by the Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies in Polk County shot and killed a man Sunday after the man stabbed one deputy in the head with a knife, the sheriff’s office said.

“In fear for their lives, (deputies) were forced to shoot the suspect,” said Carrie Horstman, a spokesperson for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

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Investigators learned of the situation around 3 p.m. Sunday when a woman called 911 to report that her son — 47-year-old Arthur Martin — was trying to smother her, Horstman said. The woman told deputies she woke up to her son repeatedly pressing a pillow on her face while she was napping on the couch, records show.

Arthur Martin, 47 (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

The mother was able to escape the house and call 911 from a safe location, Horstman said. The woman said she had no idea why her son attacked her as they had not had any recent arguments.

When deputies responded to the home, in an unincorporated area of Davenport, they found Martin in an upstairs bathroom, according to the sheriff’s office.

Three deputies ordered the man to come out with his hands up, but he refused. That prompted the deputies to enter the bathroom and the man immediately charged at investigators with a large knife, stabbing one deputy on the top of his head, according to a news release.

That deputy tried to use a stun gun on the man, but it was ineffective, and the suspect continued to fight while armed with the knife, officials said. The sheriff’s office said all three deputies opened fire, killing Martin.

No other deputies were injured.

The deputy who was stabbed was taken to a nearby hospital, where he received stitches. He should make a full recovery, Horstman said.