Armed man dies after deputy-involved shooting in Port Orange

PORT ORANGE, Fla. — An armed 32-year-old man died late Wednesday in a shooting involving a Volusia County deputy and a Port Orange police officer at a gas station in Port Orange, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

Investigators said John Wurms threatened a woman on social media, and they found him at about 10:45 p.m. at a 7-Eleven at Taylor Road and South Williamson Boulevard.

Deputies said he pointed a gun at his head and then at Deputy Devin Lafoucade, 24, and an unidentified police officer, who fired at him. They said he was shot three times, including once in the head.


Wurms was flown to Daytona Beach's Halifax Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The law enforcement officers were uninjured.

Lafoucade was placed on paid administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting, both of which are typical in shootings involving law enforcement officers.

Officials said a suspect in an unrelated case pulled a gun on Lafoucade during a traffic stop last month. They said he managed to take down that suspect without shooting his weapon.

Investigators said Wurms had been arrested over the weekend in Holly Hill for aggravated stalking after he was caught prowling around his ex-girlfriend's home.

"The guy's got a history of dating violence, dating back to '08," Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said during a Thursday afternoon news conference. "Dating violence, stalking seem to be his big thing."

Chitwood said three women had protection orders against Wurms.

"Thank the good Lord that none of these ex-girlfriends were killed last night, (because) clearly, he was on a mission," he said.

Chitwood said Wurms had previously threatened suicide by cop.

"He had ample opportunity -- multiple times -- to comply with the officers, and he chose not to," Port Orange police Chief Thomas Grimaldi said Thursday.

Jim Sparks, of DeLand, told Channel 9 the victim is now dating a friend of his son and they have been staying at his home.

Sparks said Wurms slashed the tires of several vehicles parked in his driveway and threatened to burn down his home.

"I don't take anything like this lightly, especially when he's threatening my family for something that we're not even involved in," he said.