A man from Lake Placid is in custody after shooting a Deputy Highlands County Deputy Sunday night
Deputy William Gentry is in critical condition at Lee Memorial Hospital after being arrested by Joseph Edward Ables, 69 According to the Highlands County Sheriff's Office
Ables is charged with, inter alia, an attempted first degree murder and possession of a gun by a convicted criminal. He is being held in the Highlands County Jail without bail.
The shooting is based on a dispute with a neighbor with a cat shot dead, according to a post on the sheriff's Facebook page. MPs believe that Ables shot the cat.
Gentry, 40, a nine-year-old member of the sheriff's office, spoke with the neighbor, who owned the cat before 8 pm. and then went to Baltimore Way to challenge Ables for the Facebook post.
After Gentry went to the front door, Ables opened the door and shot Gentry in the head, MEPs said.
Ables, a convicted criminal With a history of violence against law enforcement, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Highlands County Jail, MEPs said.
Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman called the shootout an "unimaginable tragedy"
"William is an experienced law enforcement officer and serves as one of our field staff," Blackman said in the Facebook post. "His brother is one of our detectives, this is an unimaginable tragedy for our agency, our prayers are with Deputy Gentry and his family, and we ask that your prayers be with them as well."
Florida Governor Rick Scott offered his support to Blackman in a tweet Sunday night.
I spoke with @HighCoSheriff Blackman about the acting shot tonight and offered all state resources. To hurt a LEO is pure evil and we will not stand for it. I ask all Floridians to pray for the family, the HCSO and all the brave LEOs who go beyond it every day to bring us to safety.
– Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) May 7, 2018
Anyone with information is requested to call the Highlands County Sheriff's Office at (863) 402-7250