According to details given by Highland County Sheriff Paul Blackman during a press conference, Deputy William Gentry responded to reports of a cat being shot near a residence in Lake Placid on Sunday around 7:45 p.m.
On the evening of May 6, Deputy William Gentry and a deputy in training responded to a domestic dispute call. The deputy was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital at Fort Myers. Deputy Gentry made contact with 69-year-old Joseph Edward Ables at his front door. Sources say the suspect then fired a shot, hitting the deputy. Meanwhile, Ables-a convicted felon with a history of violence toward law enforcement-was taken into custody at the scene and charged with possession of a weapon or ammo by a convicted felon, attempted first-degree murder without premeditation, and resisting an officer with violence, Fox News reported.
Law enforcement agencies from around Southwest Florida offered their support for the critically injured deputy on social media.
According to the sheriff's office, Deputy Gentry is a field training officer and had a trainee with him at the time. "Our prayers are with Deputy Gentry and his family and we ask that your prayers be with them, also". Gentry was 40 years old and had been a Highlands County Sheriff's Deputy for nine years.
A deputy has been shot in Lake Placid.
Florida Governor Rick Scott tweeted that he put all of his office's resources at the Sheriff Department's disposal, adding in part that "Hurting a LEO [law enforcement officer] is pure evil & we won't stand for it".
The sheriff's office is asking the public to keep his family and the HCSO family in your prayers.