They came within inches of their lives. New video from a Dec. 26 shootout between Clearwater police and a gunman shows how close police came to losing an officer.
This incident is a prime example of why police have to be ready to handle anything in a split second.
A woman contacted police through Facebook, saying her boyfriend had hit and kicked her and threatened to kill her.
“Shots fired. Shots fired,” said an officer over the police radio.
Clearwater police officers found themselves under fire after safely getting Annie Vann away from Wayne Falana.
The pair was living inside a business used as a recording studio.
“Multiple shots fired. Get everybody here,” said an officer on the radio.
Here is what Falana told police before using two guns to shoot at them.
“’I’m ready to die. They’re gonna die. Everybody’s gonna die.’ He was an angry man and he for whatever reason decided to beat her that night and when she summoned the police officers, he was mad about that,” said Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter.
After firing at police near the back entrance, Falana turned guns at toward police out front.
He knew their position by watching video from cameras in both locations.
At one point he jumped through the shattered front window to make a run for it.
“These are apartments over here. This is a residential community. The last thing we’re gonna allow is a person who’s already tried to kill the police officers, that’s already threatened to kill this female, allow him to go on there and kill other people” said Chief Slaughter.
Bullets hit Sergeant Thomas Dawe’s pant legs. Another officer felt bullets whiz by his head.
“He’s having another officer make sure he’s not hit. I guess, you can’t get any closer to losing an officer that we did on December 26th” said Chief Slaughter.
Falana, a career criminal, was hit 16 times and died.
The state attorney has ruled this shooting “justifiable.”
The officers involved will return to duty this weekend.