Footage has been released of deputies battling for their lives after being ambushed during a traffic stop in Brevard County, Florida.
The footage, which was released by the sheriff’s office, shows the deputies speaking to two men outside of the stopped car just moments before the ambush occurred. Deputy Brian Potters is shown joking with Paris Wilder, who was sitting in the back seat next to a child and a dog.
When the deputies asked Wilder to step out of the vehicle, he emerged with a rifle and began shooting. As Deputy Potters attempted to take cover behind his vehicle, he can be heard yelling, “I’m hit!”
The footage continues, showing an exchange of gunfire between the deputies and Wilder, who appears to have been shot by one of the deputies.
The shooter then runs toward the cruiser, while the deputies take cover. Wilder then appears from behind Potters and hits him in the back of the head with the butt of his rifle.
“As the suspect repeatedly batters deputy Potter in the head with the butt of the gun, the two of them fall to the ground,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. “The subject continues to strike him in the head.”
According to Ivey, Deputy Tyler Thoman then saved Potters’ life by firing multiple rounds, “eliminating the threat.”
Wilder was killed in the shootout, while Deputy Potters suffered a gunshot wound, a concussion, multiple head lacerations, and fractures to his face.
“For those out there who might be foolish enough to ask why we shot him so many times, that answer is simple — because evil can never be dead enough,” Sheriff Ivey said.
“As you can clearly see in the video, both of our deputies were in a battle for their lives as this disgusting and evil individual had a blatant disregard for their lives, the lives of others at the scene, and the life of a 2-month-old baby in the car,” Ivey added. “When I tell you, we are blessed that God was watching over our deputies and those present at the scene, I mean it from the bottom of my heart.”
According to Sheriff Ivey, Wilder was wanted on several warrants, and had 23 prior felony arrests for crimes including narcotics trafficking, attempted murder, and assault.
“I’m personally sickened that by the fact that this thug with such a violent criminal history was out of jail where he could almost kill two of our deputies,” Ivey said.
“This individual had absolutely no regard for human life and was focused on only one thing — killing our deputies to avoid arrest as he knew he was facing several minimum mandatory prison sentences in his pending cases,” he added.
Watch the video of the ambush here, as the graphic video has been age restricted and will not play if embedded on any site.