The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting that left a suspect dead Monday evening.
The Sheriff's Office reports 34-year-old Quentin Louis Case of Winter Haven died in the shooting after he pulled out a gun on a deputy and began firing at the intersection of Kimbrel Road and Glen Saint Mary Road in Lake Wales.
According to Sheriff Grady Judd, the following is a timeline of the incident:
- Deputy Clifton Wofford, was on traffic detail and began following the suspect after seeing him going 112 mph on a motorcycle eastbound on State Road 60.
- Case then turned onto Golden Bough Road.
- The deputy followed the motorcycle's direction until he arrived near Kimbrel Road and Glen Saint Mary Road where he noticed the suspect's motorcycle laying in the sand on its side.
- The deputy got out of his vehicle to see what was going on, the suspect flanked around to the back of the patrol car.
- The deputy asked to see the suspect's hands, at which time the suspect pulled his shirt up and there was a holster and a gun.
- The suspect then pulled out the gun and started shooting at the deputy.
- The deputy immediately fired back and the two exchanged in several shots.
- The suspect then ran west into the grove. At that point, the deputy moved away from the patrol car further to the north so he could see both angles and took cover beside a garbage can.
- The suspect ran back out and tried to enter the patrol car. The suspect began shooting again and the deputy returned fire.
- The suspect could not get the patrol to move due to safety devices on the vehicle and couldn’t get it into gear.
- The suspect then jumped out of patrol car and tried to flee on his motorcycle, but the motorcycle is in soft sand so it was difficult.
- It was clear that the suspect is badly injured at this point, due to the prior exchange of gunshots.
- The motorcycle went about 100 yards before going down again.
- The deputy ran to the back of his patrol car and got his rifle out cause he ran out of ammunition from his handgun.
- The suspect shoots again, during this time, a second deputy arrives to provide backup.
- The second deputy asked the suspect to show his hands but only shows his right hand.
- Shortly after, the suspect picked up his gun again, at which time both deputies shot at him and he died at the scene.
- Wofford shot 42 times with his handgun during both exchanges of gunfire and 8 times from his rifle.
- The second deputy shot two bullets from his handgun.
- The suspect shot between four and seven times at deputies.
- The suspect was hit at least 13 times.
The one element that Sheriff Judd says they have not figured out at this time was that after the suspect laid the motorcycle back down, the keys were not found in the ignition – but in the gas tank. The gas tank was found open and he had a lighter open on the ground. Deputies aren’t sure how he managed to do this. Deputies said that the motorcycle was on fire and that they had to extinguish the fire after the final gunfire exchange.
Sheriff Judd added that Case had an extensive criminal arrest record, having been arrested 18 different times and had outstanding felony warrants for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of meth.
Investigators say Case had mentioned he was not going back to prison to a friend or relative earlier that day.
"And we have no idea why he would do that other than the fact that, I guess, he believed he was going to state prison," Sheriff Judd said.
According to Sheriff Judd, both deputies have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
"We don’t choose to shoot people, they choose for us to shoot them. And if you choose for us to shoot at you, we’re gonna shoot at you… A lot,” Sheriff Judd said in a press conference.
"It was a fatal mistake for him to shoot at my deputies," said Sheriff Judd.
The Medical Examiner and State Attorney's office will also conduct their own, separate investigations.