Charlotte County Sheriff's corporal killed - WFLA News Channel 8

Charlotte County Sheriff's corporal killed

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PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (WFLA) -

A Charlotte county deputy was shot and killed while responding to a call on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, Charlotte County deputies combed an area outside a unit at the Lakes of Tuscana Apartment Homes in Port Charlotte.

History was made here, and not in a good way. For the first time in the 92 year history of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, a deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty.

At around 8:07 Monday night, officials got a call about a domestic disturbance at an apartment belonging to 49-year-old Jay Vanko.

Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said, "Allegedly the husband was striking the mother and the son."

Sgt Mike Wilson was the first to respond to the scene and when he approached the stairwell Vanko was there to meet him.

Prummell said, "[Sgt. Wilson] was at the bottom of the staircase, the suspect was at the top of the staircase so he was firing downwards and [the bullet] got just above where the vest was."

Wilson was hit in the chest, right above his bulletproof vest. He called for backup and later died.

The complex was soon surrounded and the shooter later killed himself.

The sheriff says Vanko has no prior criminal history. However, deputies were called out to his home twice before on other domestic disturbance calls.

Prummell said the responding deputies did not know that Vanko had a weapon.

But now they're learning Vanko is very knowledgeable with guns.

"He did own several firearms, we're also hearing that he also was a marksman and competed in shooting competitions," said Prummell.

Port Charlotte was Wilson's home. He grew up here. He graduated from Port Charlotte High School, spent 20 years with the sheriff's office and also served a stint as a School Resource Officer at his alma mater.

"It's a community loss, there's no question about that," said Michael Riley, the Community Relations Officer for Charlotte County Public Schools

Riley knew Sgt. Wilson for years.

"Good guy. He was a hardnosed cop. He really was. But the kids respect that, said Riley. "He made an impact on a lot of the kids that he dealt with in those two years."

But those are now memories. Sgt Wilson leaves behind his wife Joanne, and three children- Emily, 13, Tyler, 15, and Brandon, 16.

Counseling was provided for the deputies in the department.

A memorial service is expected to be held on Saturday.

The sheriff's office has set up a trust fund for Sgt Wilson's family.

If you'd like to help, just go to our homepage and click on ‘Links Mentioned.'

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