POLK CITY, Fla. – A 21-year-old deputy was fatally struck by a bullet fired by fellow deputies while serving a felony warrant early Tuesday, according to the Polk County sheriff.
Sheriff Grady Judd said the four deputies responded to a mobile home around 3 a.m. on Foxtown South in unincorporated Polk City while serving the warrant, which was related to meth charges, to Cheryl Williams.
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Judd identified the deputy who was killed as Blane Lane.
The sheriff said Lane took a tactical position at the front of the mobile home while three deputies went inside the trailer to look for Williams.
“In our early analysis we find that Deputy Lane did exactly what he should have, was soundly positioned, allowed himself to have not only concealment but cover in the event there was a shootout at the door,” he said.
Judd said the deputies in the home approached a room where Williams stepped into their view with a weapon. At the time, the deputies did not know where Lane’s tactical position was, Judd said.
When Williams pointed the weapon at the deputies, two of them fired at her. The sheriff said the weapon was a BB gun that resembled a real gun.
“There was no way to know where they were going to intersect. He didn’t know where she was. The deputies that were looking for her didn’t know where she was,” he said. “That’s where she chose to force the confrontation. And he happened to be in his tactical position, adjacent to where she pointed the gun at the deputies.”
Judd said Williams was struck twice out of six shots that were fired.
The sheriff said Lane was shot in the shoulder and the bullet went into the chest cavity, causing him to die.
“He went out simply to serve a warrant, something we do hundreds of times a day,” Judd said.
Williams faces several charges, including second-degree murder. The sheriff said she will be booked into jail once she is released from the hospital.
The sheriff’s office said two other residents, Donald Mathis and Joseph Larry Albritton Jr., were arrested and face charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
The investigation is ongoing.