A judge in Lee County, Florida just cleared a concealed carrier of all charges stemming from a shooting back in mid-November.
Lee County Deputy Dean Bardes was assisting two Florida High Patrol officers at an accident on I-75 when he saw a car speed by. He jumped in his patrol car and went after the car to conduct a traffic stop. Before Bardes could pull the car over, the driver pointed a gun at the deputy and continued fleeing.
The driver, 53-year-old Edward Strother, eventually stopped on a freeway offramp. Strother pulled Bardes out of patrol car and pinned him to the ground. He continually punched the officer as he reached for the officer’s duty weapon.
Ashad Russell saw the dangerous encounter taking place and decided to step in.
Russell drew his firearm and approached Strother. He fired his handgun three times, striking the suspect and freeing the officer. Once the officer was free, Russell dropped the gun and waited for additional police officers to arrive on the scene.
Emergency personnel took the suspect to the hospital where he passed away.
Following the incident, Sheriff Mike Scott took to Facebook to thank Russell for saving his deputy’s life.
The video of the shooting was released on Wednesday by the Florida State Attorney’s Office. They concluded the shooting was justified because the deputy’s life was in danger.
“Mr. Russell, along with many others, witnessed a man violently remove Deputy Bardes from his marked patrol car and attack him,” a statement from Russell’s attorney reads. “Despite multiple commands from Deputy Bardes and Mr. Russell to stop, this man did not, and Mr. Russell intervened.”
The saddest part of this whole situation? Not one single 9-1-1 call was made but someone stopped to film the incident.
Here’s the video footage: