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Escambia Deputies Fire 17 Shots at Unarmed 60-Year-Old Man Roy Middleton at His Own Home

Roy Middleton

Roy Middleton

Two Florida sheriff’s deputies responding to a call about a possible burglary fired 17 shots at an unarmed man in his own front yard on Saturday, miraculously only hitting him in his leg.

The Pensacola News Journal reports Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies received a 911 call about a possible burglary at a home in the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington early on Saturday morning. Deputies Jeremiah Weeks and Matthew White arrived on the scene and witnessed 60-year-old Roy Middleton rummaging through a Lincoln Town Car in the driveway of the home. Unbeknownst to the deputies, Middleton was on his own property searching his mother’s car for loose cigarettes.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan claimed his deputies repeatedly ordered Middleton to show his hands, but that he spun toward them and caused them to “fear for their safety.” Middleton claims he turned around with his hands raised in the air, a claim corroborated by a witness who wished to remain anonymous.

The deputies then fired repeatedly at Middleton; his mother, 77-year-old Ceola Walker, says she found 17 shell casings in her carport. Middleton was struck in his leg, shattering bones in his left thigh. He will require surgery to insert a metal rod in the injured leg. His mother’s car was struck by numerous bullets.

“It was like a firing squad,” Middleton said of the shooting. “Bullets were flying everywhere,” he told the News Journal.

“I thought it was firecrackers,” neighbor Sam Barton told WEAR. “My girlfriend didn’t, then we jumped up to look out the window and saw deputies carrying shotguns and stuff.”

“The police had followed him (Middleton), they thought he had stolen the car and it’s actually his mother’s car and he’s licensed to drive that vehicle,” Barton added.

Middleton is listed in good condition at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. Walker said she expects her son to return home by Wednesday.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident, and the deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Frank Middleton, Roy’s 66-year-old brother, told the News Journal that he doesn’t know what to make of the shooting.

“I couldn’t believe all this stuff was happening,” the older Middleton said. “I mean he’s a good, smooth-talking guy. You’d never believe it.”

“I’m not mad, but more disappointed in the system and in the training,” Frank Middleton continued, adding that his own son is a Pensacola police officer. “They need training.”

Walker is also perplexed why deputies shot her son.

“I don’t get what happened or why it happened,” she told WALA. “I don’t understand why they fired so many shots. He wasn’t resisting and he was at his own house.”

More than anything, Walker is just glad her son survived the incident.

“He could’ve been killed,” she told the News Journal. “The Lord shielded him.”

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5 Comments

  1. wildJuly 30, 2013 at 8:15 amReply

    “He could’ve been killed,” that is a realistic conclusion.

    The sad thing about this is:

    WHERE DOES THE POLICE DEPT. GET OFF ON THIS? WHEN BY RIGHTS THOSE COPS SHOULD BE BEHIND BARS, ATTEMPTED MURDER, PLAIN & SIMPLE.

    This is just another example of the militarized police state which is the United States of Pet Owners. I can almost guarantee, those cops considered this victim as dead. And as long as you are completely incapacitated, or roll over to whatever demands the cops shout at you, then the 2 old adages “shoot first & ask questions later” “it is scary after dark” shall remain.

    THIS IS A LEADERSHIP PROBLEM, THROW THOSE %^&*( IN JAIL, ALONG WITH THEIR POLICE CAPTAIN. AND THROW THE REVIEW BOARD IN THERE WITH THEM, AS WE ALL KNOW ALREADY THESE MURDERING COPS SHOULD NOT BE SUPPORTED LEGALLY.

    How come the one cop didn’t shoot/restrain the other cop? In this case both cops decided to blast off, not in defense of the victim that is certain. How come we NEVER hear that story: well ummm, officer joe bill there became agitated, and ummm, started shooting those dead people over there, and ummmm so I shot his ass…because there was NO DEADLY THREAT.

    This is more proof that this is a militarized federal/state/local financed police state.

    wild;)

    • Brett WilkinsJuly 30, 2013 at 10:07 amReplyAuthor

      The sad thing is, in a matter of days there will be another incident like this.

  2. Tony JohnsonJuly 31, 2013 at 1:24 pmReply

    This is what happens when you have police department that discipline or clean up their police departments. Combing the streets with tactical units who are in no fear of consequences because what they do will always be “justified” even shooting a man on his own property. At some point the taxpayers need to stop paying lawsuits for this kinda stuff. If you’re going to put these kids on the streets with guns without regard for anyone’s safety , this is what happens. But this should come out of the police budget , not from the taxpayers dime

  3. PeterJuly 31, 2013 at 3:51 pmReply

    This article doesn’t mention that there will be an investigation of this “Officer Involved Shooting”. An investigation that will gather evidence and reach a conlusion about whether or not the deputies acted reasonably and lawfully.

    What a concept! Learn the facts and analyze the evidence before making a decision about the matter.

    But that’s not as satisfying as spewing anti-cop venom, based only on a sketchy account of this incident. Never let the facts interfere with prejudice.

  4. coppy copingerAugust 1, 2013 at 1:20 amReply

    Yeah, Peter, because cop investigations of other cops always result in justice for us unarmed, law-abiding citizens under the US Constitution. The “prejudice” is yours. The rest of us just want relief from “death by homicidal psychopathic armed criminals” with badges. Enjoy your pension.

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