Fla. deputy shot, but will survive; suspect killed
Sgt. Richard Stelter was shot while trying to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted for robberies
By Mike Schneider
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida deputy was shot multiple times while trying to serve a warrant Tuesday, but he is expected to survive, authorities said. The suspect was killed in a shootout with other deputies.
Sgt. Richard Stelter was shot while trying to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted for robberies in the Orlando area, said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, who didn't identify the suspect since his family hadn't been notified of his death.
Demings said the suspect opened fire on the 46-year-old Stelter and other deputies after they blocked his car outside an apartment complex. Four deputies returned fire, and the suspect was killed.
A woman who was in the car with suspect had minor injuries, Demings said.
As is customary, those deputies will be assigned to other duties pending a review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the sheriff said.
"Given the details that we know at this time and eyewitness testimony, it appears that the actions taken by the deputies were appropriate," Demings said.
Stelter was in stable condition. He has been with the sheriff's office since 1996.
Deming said he had visited Stetler in the hospital and that he was in "relatively good spirits."
"We're very, very confident he's in the best hands possible," Demings said.
The suspect previously had been convicted of attempted murder and served three years in prison. During the robberies he was wanted for, the suspect and others targeted elderly women leaving shopping malls, authorities said.
Last month, an Orlando police lieutenant was fatally shot while attempting to arrest a fugitive wanted for questioning in the slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. An Orange County deputy was killed in a traffic accident while responding to the shooting.
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