Florida Deputy Shot, But Will Survive; Suspect Killed

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida deputy was shot multiple times while trying to serve a warrant Tuesday, but he is expected to survive, authorities said. The suspect was killed in a shootout with other deputies.

Sgt. Richard Stelter was shot while trying to serve a warrant on a suspect wanted for robberies in the Orlando area, said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

The suspect was identified as 20-year-old Christopher Redding Jr.

Demings said the suspect opened fire on the 46-year-old Stelter and other deputies after they blocked his car outside an apartment complex. Four deputies returned fire, and Redding was killed.

A woman who was in the car with the suspect had a minor gunshot wound to her arm. A 1-year-old girl and a 4-month-old boy also were in the car but they were unharmed, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

As is customary, those deputies will be assigned to other duties pending a review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the sheriff said.

“Given the details that we know at this time and eyewitness testimony, it appears that the actions taken by the deputies were appropriate,” Demings said.

Stelter was in stable condition. He has been with the sheriff’s office since 1996.

Deming said he had visited Stetler in the hospital and that he was in “relatively good spirits.”

“We’re very, very confident he’s in the best hands possible,” Demings said.

Redding previously had been convicted of attempted murder and served three years in prison. During the robberies he was wanted for, the suspect and others targeted elderly women leaving shopping malls, authorities said.

Last month, an Orlando police lieutenant was fatally shot while attempting to arrest a fugitive wanted for questioning in the slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. An Orange County deputy was killed in a traffic accident while responding to the shooting.

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