Autopsy: Officers fired 110 rounds at man suspected in cop's death
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Officers fired 110 rounds of ammunition at the suspect in the killing of a Polk County sheriff's deputy, according to an autopsy and records released by the sheriff's office Saturday.
Angilo Freeland -- who allegedly fatally shot Deputy Vernon Matthew Williams after being pulled over for speeding Thursday -- was hit 68 times by the SWAT team members' shots, the examination showed.
"You have to understand, he had already shot and killed a deputy, he had already shot and killed a K-9 and he shot and injured another deputy," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said by phone Saturday. "Quite frankly, we weren't taking any chances."
Freeland's death ended a search that plunged the generally quiet central Florida town of Lakeland into a frenzy. Schools were locked down and families were told to stay indoors as some 500 officers from around the state scoured the woods searching for a suspect.
Ten SWAT officers surrounded Freeland on Friday as he hid underneath brush and a fallen tree in a rural area. Authorities say he raised Williams' gun at them, prompting nine of the officers to fire.
"I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had," Judd said. "We were not going to take any chance of him shooting back."
The SWAT officers who shot Freeland -- previously identified as Angelo Freeland and Eswardo O. Ramclaim -- have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in all police shootings. They have also been ordered to undergo counseling, though Judd said they would likely be back on the job within a week.
Williams' autopsy was also returned Saturday, showing he had been shot eight times. The deputy had not been wearing a protective vest, but authorities said that would not have helped, since shots hit him in his right leg and behind his right ear, among other places.
Diogi, the German shepherd who was Williams' canine partner, was also killed in Thursday's shootout. An examination of the dog's body showed he had been shot once in the chest.
Authorities said deputy sheriff Doug Speirs was fired at several times by the suspect, and shot once in the leg, though he is no longer hospitalized. A sergeant and an officer from the Lakeland Police Department were also fired at, authorities said.
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