WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in the Wahneta area of unincorporated Winter Haven. No deputies were injured.
According to the preliminary investigation, at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, detectives were following up on information that a man in the area was possibly in possession of a stolen handgun and may have been involved with a stolen motorcycle.
The two detectives spotted a white male suspect who matched the description given, walking on Avenue A West near 17th Street West. The detectives, who were wearing vests marked with SHERIFF, stopped and attempted to make contact with him.
The suspect, later identified as 31-year-old Brent Conley, abruptly pulled out a handgun on the detectives.
Fearing for their lives and safety, one of the detectives fired his handgun at Conley to stop the threat. The detectives then began life-saving measures on Conley and requested medical assistance from Polk County Fire Rescue.
Conley was transported to a local hospital for treatment, and was last reported in critical but stable condition.
The handgun Conley had is a 9mm, that was recovered at the scene and was loaded.
“When you pull a gun on my deputies, they have an obligation to protect themselves and others, you can expect to be shot,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Conley has a prior criminal history consisting of 12 felonies and 9 misdemeanors which includes charges for Aggravated Battery, Burglary, Obstruction, Battery on LEO, Theft, Resisting, and Drug Possessions. He was released from the Polk County Jail on May 12, 2022 (arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine, Marijuana, and Paraphernalia, and Resisting). He was released from Florida State Prison on August 8, 2021.
Standard protocol for all deputy-involved shootings includes three independent investigations: PCSO will conduct a criminal investigation, PCSO Administrative Investigations will conduct an administrative inquiry, and the State Attorney’s Office will conduct a separate investigation.