Eriese Alphonso Tisdale, suspect in death of Sgt. Gary Morales, claims self defense

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A man accused of shooting and killing a St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputy claims it was self-defense.

Eriese Alphonso Tisdale is being held in connection with the Thursday morning shooting death of St. Lucie County Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Morales.

The deputy was shot following a traffic stop on Nayor Terrace.

Tisdale claims that leading up to the shooting Sgt. Morales walked up to the driver's side of his vehicle and told him to get out of the car and get on the ground, according to an arrest affidavit.
He says he was in fear for his life "due to the deputy's tone and him having his hand on his gun."

Tisdale says he fled in his vehicle and he claims that at some point during the pursuit the deputy rammed his vehicle and Tisdale indicated his actions were committed in self-defense.

Asked to justify his actions Tisdale offered no specifics, the affidavit says.

Investigators say Tisdale got out of his vehicle and shot Sgt. Morales who was seated in his patrol car with his gun still holstered.

Morales was shot at least three times, including at least once in the side of the head.
Tisdale, who is being held without bond, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder, assault on an officer/firefighter/EMT, fleeing and eluding and possession of a weapon or ammunition by a felon.

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