It’s around 9:15 PM and we can still hear the helicopters flying low overhead. They are searching for a man that shot and killed an officer here in Lakeland today. We are in lockdown mode at our apartment and have been told to stay indoors. There are reporters and news trucks everywhere.
The shooting took place when a deputy stopped a car for a routine traffic violation. The driver ran into the woods. The officer called for backup and when they went into the woods they were both shot. One officer – Deputy Matt Williams – and his dog were killed. The other officer was hit in the leg and was just released from the hospital.
I had met Deputy Williams several times over the years when he would bring his dog to local schools to give presentations to the kids. Denise and I pass the spot where he was killed twice each day as we take her to and from work. I had just passed the very spot only about 40 minutes prior to the shooting. It’s about three miles from our apartment and now we are smack dab in the middle of the search area. We are sitting here in a state of shock!
Life is so short. It can take unexpected turns in the blink of an eye. The ordinary becomes the extraordinary within moments. Some days just don’t make sense!
Our prayers tonight are with Deputy Williams’ family, the other officers still on the search and the officer wounded in the line of duty. Please join us in the praying for all of them.