A homeless man armed with a machete slashed another individual in an unprovoked attack near a pavilion at the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island shortly after 8 am on Friday morning.
Deputies responding to multiple 911 calls arrived on the scene quickly. The suspect then ignored their commands to drop his weapon and instead aggressively advanced on them.
Both Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies fired their weapons in self-defense. The deputies performed lifesaving measures however the suspect died at the scene.
A Georgia tourist who suffered a significant laceration to his shoulder in the initial incident was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center for treatment.
“Our deputies were on the scene within three minutes of the calls. Despite their pleas to the armed individual to put down his weapon, he ultimately rushed at them with it instead. It’s a tragic situation. I’m incredibly grateful our deputies are okay and that their quick response and solid training in the face of great personal danger prevented anyone else from being hurt or killed,’ said Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden.
The incident was captured on the deputy’s body-worn cameras.
As standard procedure, the deputies will be on paid leave while an investigation takes place. The results of the investigation will be turned over to the State Attorney’s Office for review.