MELBOURNE, Fla. — Law enforcement officials have identified the deputy who was shot and killed by a fleeing suspect on Tuesday.
Deputy Barbara Pill, 53, was shot in the face and killed after responding to a call about property theft at about 11 a.m. at the EconoLodge off State Road 192, according to officers.
Officers said Brandon Lee Bradley, 22, is accused of killing Pill and has an extensive criminal background. The passenger, Andrea Kurtchener, 19, also has a criminal background, according to deputies.
Bradley had four active warrants for his arrest at the time of the incident.
Pill has been in law enforcement for 30 years and has served 15 years with the Brevard County Sheriff's Department.
"She is a tremendous loss to our community," said Sheriff Jack Parker. "She's the kind of person that makes a true difference in our community."
Pill is a new grandmother Parker said in a news conference.
"She is the kind of person we could depend on to do anything," said Parker.
Pill has two sons who are also in law enforcement, one with the Brevard County Sheriff's office and the other Melbourne Village Police Department. Pill's daughter-in-law is a crime scene technician with Brevard County.
Authorities said Pill was requesting backup from another officer when Pill and Bradley were engaging in verbal conversation. Bradley then shot Pill multiple times in the face said authorities.
Bradley and Kurtchener then fled the scene in a white SUV.
Deputies, Highway Patrol and Melbourne Police chased the suspects down and used stop sticks to stop the vehicle. The vehicle then crashed into a ditch said investigators.
More than a dozen law enforcement agents responded with guns drawn to the SUV in a ditch on Turtlemound Road and Parkway Drive.
The white SUV was on its side in a ditch while authorities and K-9 units surrounded the vehicle.
Both suspects are in custody and Parker said they are still figuring out the charges for Bradley and Kurtchener.
Reprinted with permission from WESH