A Highlands County deputy has died after being shot in the head in Lake Placid on Sunday evening.
Deputy William Gentry was responding to a neighborhood dispute involving a cat that allegedly had been shot by 69-year-old Joseph Edward Ables.
The sheriff's office said Gentry went to speak to Ables when the suspect shot the deputy.
Gentry was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital.
“William is an experienced law enforcement officer and serves as one of our Field Training Deputies,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said. “His brother is one of our detectives. This is an unimaginable tragedy for our agency. Our prayers are with Deputy Gentry and his family and we ask that your prayers be with them, also.”
Ables, who is a convicted felon with a history of violence towards law enforcement, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Highlands County Jail.
The Highlands County Sheriff's Office released the following statement on Monday:
It is with tremendous sadness that I report that Deputy William J. Gentry Jr. passed away at 1:10 p.m. today, May 7, at Lee Memorial Hospital as a result of his injuries.
Please keep his family and our HCSO family in your prayers. We will release details about the services as soon as we have them.
Gentry, 40, has worked for the Highlands County Sheriff's Office for more than nine years.