LABELLE,. Fla. (WFLA) — An officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife was shot and killed early Sunday morning while off duty, authorities said.
Multiple law enforcement offices are saying FWC Officer Julian Keen Jr., 30, was killed trying to stop a hit-and-run driver while off duty.
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the area of Apache Circle and Nobles Road after reports of a shooting. When they arrived on scene, they discovered Keen had been fatally shot.
The sheriff’s office currently has three suspects in custody for questioning.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of FWC Officer Keen,” Hendry County Sheriff Steven Whidden said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, members of FWC, friends and community. We will do everything we can to bring about justice to those guilty in his shooting death. We all knew Officer Keen, and he wasn’t only our brother in blue-but a role model for the community, he will be missed.”
The FWC responded with this post on Twitter:
Many law enforcement offices from across Florida are offering their condolences to the FWC following the news of Keen’s death. The FHP Command Officers Association was among the many that paid its respects to the fallen officer on Facebook:
“He was a genuine officer who would literally give his shirt off his back to ANYONE who needed it. Please pray for his family and law enforcement everywhere as we face these troubling times,” they wrote on Facebook.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister reacted to Keen’s death on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page.
“Time and time again we are unfortunately reminded of what the thin blue line truly stands for, and the death of Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Julian Keen is another tragic example,” he said. “As law enforcement officers, we are the protectors of our fellow citizens and the barrier between order and chaos. May we never forget the sacrifice Officer Keen made while trying to protect and serve his fellow man. Our hearts are with his family and fellow FWC officers.”
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