CRESTVIEW, Fla. — Two north Florida sheriff's deputies were fatally shot at a shooting range by a suspect who was later killed by deputies after he fled across the county line, authorities said.
It happened around 1 p.m. Saturday when the two Okaloosa County deputies went to Shoal River Sporting Clays and Shooting Center in response to a call, said Michele Nicholson, a sheriff's spokeswoman.
Deputies Burt Lopez and Warren "Skip" York were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, about 45 miles away, the sheriff's office said. Sheriff's officials identified their killer as Joshua Cartwright, 28, of Fort Walton Beach.
Authorities said the suspect shot both deputies and took off toward neighboring Walton County, where he was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies.
A witness, Mark Illich was near the DeFuniak Springs intersection where deputies killed Cartwright.
"It must have been like 30 or 40 shots," Illich told The Northwest Florida Daily News.
Illich said he saw one officer putting down spikes at the intersection and knew "something's about to happen."
Then, "(Cartwright's) truck, he started coming. And we saw him, and he seemed calm as a cucumber," Illich said.
Cartwright veered around the spike strip, and an officer opened fire at the back of his truck, Illich said.
The deputies had gone to the shooting range while following up on a domestic violence call from Cartwright's apartment in Fort Walton Beach, authorities said. Investigators from the Florida Department of Law enforcement and the sheriff's office did not immediately release other details about the call.
A man who answered the telephone at the shooting center near Crestview said he had no comment on the shooting.
Another Okaloosa County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed in July following a standoff with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home.
Okaloosa County Sheriff Charles Morris was suspended by Gov. Charlie Crist in February after he was arrested by FBI agents while on a gambling trip to Las Vegas.
Morris and his former office manager were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on theft, money laundering and conspiracy charges. Prosecutors allege Morris and his former office manager, Teresa Adams, created fictitious bonuses for sheriff's department employees then pocketed some of the money.