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Polk County man critical after shooting self, being shot by deputies: Sheriff

deputy shoots Polk County man twice
Posted at 4:26 PM, Oct 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-07 07:26:13-04

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A man in Polk County is in critical condition after shooting himself and then being shot twice by deputies on Friday night.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the man, James Busch, 53, was under the influence when he shot himself after threatening his ex-girlfriend.

Sheriff Grady Judd says the woman went to the home on Hyland Avenue to get some belongings and her dog. When she got there, Busch used a padlock to lock a gate and keep her there, according to authorities.

"He told her you're not leaving," Judd said. "You're staying here."

Judd says Busch pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot himself and the woman. She called Busch's brother for help, but Judd says the suspect wouldn't listen.

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"He put the gun under his chin and shoots," said Judd.

Deputies responded and found Busch alive and still armed, Judd said.

"They started yelling for him to put the gun down," Judd said. "He immediately cocks the gun."

Busch ignored commands and a deputy fired his weapon. He shot Busch twice, forcing him to drop the weapon.

Even though the sheriff is proud of the way the deputy handled the situation, Judd says the deputy didn't follow protocol.

"I think my deputy took a great risk to his personal life in order to try to save the life of [Busch] last night. The protocol is you shoot to stop the threat," said Judd.

Busch is in critical condition at an area hospital. The sheriff's office says his self-inflicted wound caused "massive injuries."

No one else was injured.

The deputy who shot Busch is on paid leave while the investigation continues.