SARASOTA, Fla.(WFLA) — A Sarasota County deputy was rushed to the hospital after he was sliced with a “massive” 15-inch machete during an officer-involved shooting incident Thursday morning.
According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, a man wielding a machete and a baseball bat entered a home near the intersection of Meldon Street and Richardson Way in Sarasota around 9:30 a.m. When the homeowner noticed the man inside his house, he dialed 911 and fled for his own safety.
Officials said four deputies, who were already patrolling the area, arrived at the home within two minutes of the 911 call. When deputies arrived, the suspect advanced toward the deputies holding the machete.
“What I can tell you is one of my deputies was struck by the machete in his hand,” an official with the sheriff’s office said during a Thursday morning media briefing. “He is currently at the hospital and he is being seen by a hand surgeon. He is getting ready to go into surgery. I pray to god he doesn’t lose his fingers or his hand.”
After the deputy was struck by the machete, two other deputies opened fire on the man, who ultimately died at the scene. Authorities are working to confirm the suspect’s identity and notify his next of kin.
Authorities said they believe the homeowner and the suspect were not familiar with one another. The homeowner was not injured during the incident.
“Any day deputies have to fire their weapon is not a good day,” the sheriff’s office added. “It’s not a good day at all.”
Hours after the incident, authorities released photos of the machete, stating it was 19″ in length with a 15″ blade.
The deputy reportedly suffered severe injuries to at least two of his fingers.
Additional details are expected to be released as an investigation continues.
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