Officers shot suspect 68 times

Published: Oct. 2, 2006 at 12:04 PM CDT
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LAKELAND, Florida (AP) -- Officers fired 110 rounds of ammunition at the man suspected of killing a sheriff's deputy, according to an autopsy and records released by the sheriff's office Saturday.

Angilo Freeland -- who was suspected of fatally shooting the deputy after being pulled over for speeding Thursday -- was hit 68 times by the SWAT team members' shots, the examination showed.

He also was suspected of wounding a deputy and killing a police dog.

Freeland's death ended a nearly 24-hour manhunt that forced schools to lock down and families to stay indoors as about 500 officers scoured the woods.

The wounded deputy had pulled Freeland over for speeding and became suspicious of his identification. The suspect got nervous and bolted into the woods, officials said.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he was not concerned by the number of shots fired.

"You have to understand, he had already shot and killed a deputy, he had already shot and killed a K-9 and he shot and injured another deputy," Judd said by phone Saturday. "Quite frankly, we weren't taking any chances."

Ten SWAT officers surrounded Freeland on Friday as he hid beneath brush and a fallen tree in a rural area. Authorities say he raised the gun belonging to the deputy he had killed, prompting nine officers to fire.

"I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had," Judd said. "We were not going to take any chance of him shooting back."

The SWAT officers who shot Freeland have been placed on paid administrative leave, standard procedure in all police shootings.

Also released Saturday were autopsy results for the deputy, Vernon Matthew Williams, 39, which showed he had been shot eight times. He was not wearing a protective vest, but shots hit him in his right leg and behind his right ear, among other places.

Diogi, his German shepherd police dog, was also killed. The dog had been shot once in the chest.

Authorities said deputy sheriff Doug Speirs, also 39, was fired at several times and shot once in the leg. A sergeant and an officer from the Lakeland Police Department were also fired at, authorities said.

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