US marshal, detective shot in Sebring while serving warrant
9:26 AM, Nov 20, 2013
11:25 PM, Nov 20, 2013
SEBRING - Two members of the US Marshals Task Force were wounded during a shootout in Sebring Wednesday while attempting to serve a warrant to two suspects believed to be apart of a large scale cocaine ring.
The shooting happened around 6 a.m. on a side street off the Sebring Parkway.
A full-time US Marshal, whose name has not been released, suffered a wound to his hand. He underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon.
St. Lucie County Sheriff's Detective Paul Pearson, who is another member of the task force, suffered a wound to his back shoulder. He's already been released from the hospital.
Both officers are expected to make a full recovery.
The task force was serving a federal indictment on Robin Guillaume and Alex Guerrier who are believed to be members of a high-level drug operation dealing in large amounts of cocaine and crack throughout Central Florida.
Highland's County Sheriff Susan Benton told reporters the task force banged on the door and announced their presence before breaking down the front door.
"Once that occurred, shots came out from the inside," Benton said.
Members of the task force shot back, but apparently missed. The suspects were taken into custody without further incident.
Amanda White lives directly behind the suspects house, and said she was in a dead sleep when she heard a loud commotion.
"I heard several shots, and ran inside myself and loaded my own gun and stayed inside for a few minutes, and peeped my head out and looked," she said. "I knew they had been hit because I heard someone screaming 'I've been shot, I've been shot!'"
White's son, Timothy Dillard took cell phone video of the swat team doing a full sweep of the house after the shooting.
The US Marshals Task Force is a multi-agency group comprised of experienced officers.
The task force is used to dangerous situations because they go after the most violent criminals.
"Unfortunately we run into a lot of these shooting situations," said US Marshals Chief Frank Chiumento.
"Usually we are very successful when we don't lose law enforcement lives. And this was one -- although two were shot, we're thankful it wasn't life threatening."
Before the shooting happened Wednesday, the task force arrested three other suspects in the area who are believed to be apart of the same drug ring.
"It was a big operation. They were dealing multi kilograms throughout Central Florida," Sheriff Benton said.