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‘The vest saved his life’: Florida deputy shot in chest

Video shows Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd detailing the moments before his deputy was shot after responding to a family disturbance call


Photo/Twitter via Polk County Sheriff

By Ashley Silver

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office recently shared a video to social media that illustrates how a bullet-resistant vest saved the life of a Florida deputy.

According to the video shared by Bay News 9, two deputies were called to a home for a family disturbance. When the deputies arrived at the home, the suspect, 41-year-old Gabriel Batista, was no longer inside the dwelling.

“While my deputies were talking to the victims, the suspect drove past two marked patrol cars,” Sheriff Grady Judd stated on the video.

The suspect exited his vehicle with his hands concealed behind his back to confront the deputies. When officers requested that he show his hands, he refused and one deputy attempted to deploy a TASER toward the suspect, Judd stated.

“As soon as we went to tase him, he shot my deputy in the chest,” the sheriff said. “Fortunately, our deputy was wearing a bulletproof vest. The vest saved his life.”

After the deputy was shot, another officer returned fire. While the suspect was not hit, the gunfire caused him to dive to the ground and throw his gun away, allowing law enforcement to subdue him.

Judd confirmed the unnamed deputy was transported to a local hospital and is in “great condition.”

Batista is currently charged with attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.

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