DESTIN, Fla. - The deputies who shot an innocent bystander and a Tennessee man who pointed what appeared to be a semi automatic handgun at them in February have been cleared of any criminal charges, prosecutors said Monday.
Deputies Jeffery Cantwell and Robert Rodriguez confronted 30-year-old Randy Patton, of Antioch, Tenn. in the parking lot at a Days Inn in Destin after he texted his wife a photo of himself holding the weapon and told her he planned to commit suicide, according to a report from the First Judicial State Attorney's Office.
When confronted Patton initially complied with the deputies orders, placing his hands above his head and turning around. But, he suddenly dropped his hands, reached into the small of his back and removed the weapon and raised it towards the deputies, according to the report.
The deputies fired their guns and struck Patton multiple times, the report states.
"During the gunfire, Judy Lynn Williams, who was an occupant in Room #110, four doors down from where Randy Patton was standing, came out of her room and was struck in the left calf by one of the rounds fired accidentally," the report states.
After the shooting Patton's weapon was secured and deputies learned he had a bb/pellet pistol that "closely resembled a semi-automatic firearm," prosecutors wrote.
Patton and Williams both survived their injuries. Patton is charged with assault on an officer and resisting an officer with violence. He is scheduled to return to court in September.
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