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Video: Fla. deputy’s shoulder mic blocks bullet, saving his life, sheriff’s office says

After asking the suspect to show his hands several times, deputies deployed a TASER; while the suspect was being tased, he fired a revolver, striking a deputy’s shoulder mic

By Tony Marrero
Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA, Fla. — A Hillsborough deputy was injured Sunday when a man fired shots in a Carrollwood park, hitting his shoulder mic, authorities said.

Deputy Kerr Craige, 33, was treated at a local hospital for a minor injury and released later that day, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The man accused of opening fire, 32-year-old Anthony William Carpenter, was arrested on three counts of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement with a firearm, and one count each of resisting an officer with violence and armed trespassing.

The incident started about 10 a.m. when a deputy was patrolling the area near Beacon Meadows Park, 4824 Ridge Point Drive, Chief Deputy Joseph Maurer said during a news conference at the park later in the day.

The deputy encountered Carpenter, who had been trespassed from the park on Saturday, and called for backup. Two more deputies arrived.

“We have come into contact with him before, he has always been defiant, so we trespassed him yesterday,” Maurer said. “Deputies came back today and found him here again with a very aggressive dog. They asked Mr. Carpenter to leave, he was defiant.”

For about 25 minutes, deputies told Carpenter to show them his hands, which he had in his jacket pockets, Maurer said. Deputies asked him if he was armed and he said no, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

During that period, deputies asked animal control to respond to help with Carpenter’s dog. When Carpenter saw animal control officers arrive, he walked into a nearby field. Deputies drew their Tasers and again ordered Carpenter to show his hands, Maurer said.

When he refused, deputies deployed their Tasers, which initially were ineffective because Carpenter was wearing a jacket, Maurer said. When deputies tried again, the electroshock weapons worked.

“When he fell to the ground, he fired from his jacket a weapon, a revolver, and shot three times, striking deputy Kerr Craige in his shoulder mic,” Maurer said.

The mic kept the round from penetrating Craige’s body and “saved his life,” Maurer said.

The other two deputies who responded, Joseph Lopez , 60, and Sean Bush , 38, were not injured.

“This could have been a very, very tragic day for us and by the Lord above it was not,” Maurer said.

Body camera footage released by the Sheriff’s Office shows the deputies initially confronted Carpenter as he sat at a table under a picnic pavilion on the park, his dog by his side.

“You guys are gonna have to kill me today,” Carpenter says at one point.

After Carpenter walks into the field, he is struck by Tasers and falls. He then gets up again, is Tasered again and footage captured by Craige’s camera shows Carpenter falling backward.

Three shots then ring out, and Craige can be heard exclaiming and groaning in apparent pain.

“How did I get hit?” Craige says. “Something hit me.”

Booking information for Carpenter was not available on Monday.

Craige has been with the Sheriff’s Office for seven years.

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