Sheriff: Brevard deputy shoots driver, leading to chase, SR 528 crash

Man taken into custody in domestic-related incident

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager, Vanessa Araiza - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County sheriff's deputy shot a man who drove toward him early Thursday while authorities investigated a domestic-violence call in Mims, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said.

Family members have identified Perry Valsaint as the man shot by a deputy.

The incident began at 11:17 p.m. Wednesday when a woman said her ex-boyfriend chased her to her friend's home, sheriff's officials said. The woman said she had previously sought an injunction against the man, but it was dismissed in February.

Deputies checked the woman's home, but didn't find anything suspicious, officials said. 

The woman called 911 again at 3 a.m. and said she believed Valsaint was outside her home, according to sheriff's officials. Deputies again checked the area, but did not find him, Ivey said.

A third call was made at 4:43 a.m., and the woman whispered to a dispatcher that she was hiding in a closet because her ex-boyfriend was banging on her windows, Ivey said.

"I watched his car pull into the far end of the lot. He's on the right side of my garage behind the tree in the darkest part of my yard. Got his car parked there. He came to my bedroom window, knocked on it. The cops just left here not even a half an hour. I am scared to death," the victim told the 911 operator. 

"It's clear (the woman) feared for her life," Ivey said.

Deputies responded and found Valsaint at her home, officials said. Deputies told him to get out of his car, but Valsaint drove at a deputy, who opened fire and struck the suspect one time, Ivey said.

A Brevard County deputy shot Perry Valsaint on May 3, 2018 after a pursuit on the Beachline.

Valsaint drove away, leading to a chase on Interstate 95 and State Road 528 into Orange County, Ivey said.

Another deputy performed a PIT maneuver, sending the man's car off the highway, Ivey said.

Valsaint was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for treatment, officials said.

News 6 spoke to Valsaint's brother who said he is recovering in the hospital after having half of his pancreas removed.

He believes his brother was set up by his ex-girlfriend. He said they have been in an on-and-off-again relationship for about five years.

"The third time that she called him, I guess when the cops came the second time, they were like 'When he comes back just give us a call. We will be right here.' So she picked the phone up and called and was like 'Hey. Perry why don't you come over and come hang out or whatever.' So, he gets over there and she calls the cops and I guess he felt like 'Hey, this is a setup," said Valsaint's brother. 

Valsaint's family plans to hire an attorney.

No one else was injured.

The incident forced officials to close westbound lanes of the Beachline near the Orange-Brevard county line.

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The deputy who shot the suspect has not been released.

"He's a solid deputy who's been a great asset to our agency. He's very well-respected and tries to do things the right way," Ivey said.

The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a shooting.

Ivey said all protocols were followed in the shooting and chase.

Officials said video from the sheriff's helicopter will be released later.

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