Deputies shot overnight in Lakeland

June 25th, 2010 by

Two Polk County Sheriff’s deputies were shot overnight in Lakeland.

According to the agency, the shooting happened while the deputies were confronting a man on a bicycle near the intersection of Plateau and Josephine roads. That is about a block from Jesse Keen Elementary School.

The shooting happened at 2:30 a.m.

The deputies, Paul Fairbanks, 58, and Michael Braswell, 32, were taken to a Lakeland Regional Medical center. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said both deputies are expected to recover.

Braswell’s life may have been saved by his bullett-proof vest, according to Judd. Brasswell did suffer injuries to his extremities. Fairbanks was taken into surgery for wounds to his stomach and left arm.

Officials said the suspected gunman was shot and killed.

A witness who lives in the neighborhood reported hearing “about six shots, then a pause, then about two or three more shots.”

Judd said the deputies stopped the man on the bicycle due to recent issues in the neighborhood, inlcuding several burglaries and thefts.

After initially cooperating with the deputies, the suspect pulled out a large caliber handgun and began firing, Judd said. The deputies fired back, killing the suspect.

Judd said the suspect, whose identity has not been released, had a previous record.

“This ended today as it should,” Judd said. “Our deputies are alive and the guy who shot our deputies is dead.”

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