Woman fatally shot after threatening Polk Co. sergeant with shovel, sheriff’s office says

Polk County

Lights and sirens are seen atop a patrol vehicle in this file photo. (Credit: Getty Images)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said a sergeant shot and killed a woman in Wahneta after the woman threatened to attack him with a shovel.

Deputies were called to the area regarding a suspicious woman who was walking in and out of moving traffic on Rifle Range Road near Noles Lane on Thursday afternoon just before 4 p.m.

When Sergeant Sean Speakman arrived, he located the woman just south of Redemption Baptist Church on the west side of Rifle Range Road and attempted to speak with her. 

As Speakman spoke with the woman on a private dirt driveway, she raised the shovel, pointing it towards Speakman and began advancing towards him.

The sergeant gave her verbal commands to stop and put the shovel down multiple times and began backing away. The woman did not put the shovel down, and continued to move towards him threatening him with the shovel. The sergeant fired four shots, striking the woman.

The woman was transported to a local hospital, where she was announced deceased.

Sergeant Speakman has been placed on administrative leave with pay as an investigation is underway.

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