BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — The suspect shot by deputies during a traffic stop Monday in West Melbourne had a long criminal history and did not want to return to jail, according to investigators.
Deputies said 38-year-old Paris Wilder of Cocoa was a “career offender” with over 23 felony arrests including attempted first degree felony murder.
According to investigators at the time of the shooting, Wilder was out on bond for two felony drug charges and had two other active felony warrants.
On Monday, a deputy pulled over a car in which Wilder was a passenger near I-95 and SR 192 just after 1 p.m.
See map of shooting location below:
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were in the process of ordering everyone out of the car when Wilder immediately opened the passenger door and began shooting at deputies with a rifle.
“He immediately exited and produced a short stock rifle when he began firing at the deputy closest to him,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a statement.
See Sheriff Ivey’s statement below:
During the gunfire, one deputy was shot in the leg.
Wilder then began attacking the deputy with the butt of his rifle, hitting the deputy in the head several times.
Another deputy then shot Wilder, killing him.
Ivey said both deputies saved lives with their actions.
“Both deputies returned fire in an effort to save their own lives, protect the others at the scene and the two-month-old baby in the rear of the car”, Ivey said.
The injured deputy was taken to a local hospital where he is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.
The sheriff’s office has not released the names of the deputies but says both are on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
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