A Highlands County deputy is has died after he was shot as he responded to a call, authorities said.
Deputy William Gentry responded to a call Sunday about a neighbor possibly shooting a cat in a Lake Placid community on Baltimore Way.
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When Gentry approached the neighbor, Joseph Edward Ables, 69, at his front door, Ables pulled a gun on the deputy, shooting him in the head, deputies said.
Gentry, 40, was flown to Lee Memorial Hospital in critical condition, but died Monday afternoon.
Investigators said they are familiar with Ables. He is a convicted felon and has a violent history toward officers, including a recent battery charge on a law enforcement officer, officials said.
"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," said Highland County Sheriff Paul Blackman. "Please keep his family and our HCSO family in your prayers."
Watch sheriff's news conference below:
Gentry has been working for the sheriff's office for more than eight years.
Ables was arrested at the scene and taken to the Highlands County Jail, where he remains without bail.
Ables is charged with attempted first-degree murder without premeditation, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, resisting an officer with violence, and tampering with evidence violation of probation.
I have spoken with @HighCoSheriff Blackman on the deputy shot tonight & offered all state resources. Hurting a LEO is pure evil & we won't stand for it. I ask all Floridians to pray for the family, the HCSO & all the brave LEOs who go above & beyond every day to keep us safe.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) May 7, 2018
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