WCSO releases body camera footage from shooting

Local News

Officer Involved Shooting

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has released body camera footage of the fatal encounter between one of their deputies and a man armed with a knife.

The incident occurred on May 1st, when Walton County Deputy David Sanders was dispatched to an aggravated battery call in the 4100 block of State Highway 20, where he made contact with Travis Leon Hayes, of Freeport, at the residence.

According to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report, Hayes was armed with a knife and refused Sanders’ commands to drop it. The review states Hayes became increasingly agitated and hostile toward the deputy and when Hayes advanced toward him in a threatening manner, Sanders deployed his taser.

Sanders said the taser had no effect on Hayes and that’s when he fired his weapon, striking Hayes three times.

Hayes was transported by Walton County EMS, but was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Prosecutors say no criminal charges will be filed against Deputy Sanders in this case.

“Video of this incident is being released by our agency in its entirety in compliance with Florida public record law,” Walton officials wrote in a news release. “In addition, we believe this further demonstrates our belief in transparency to the people we serve. The video ends before capturing deputies administering CPR to the suspect in order not to cause any additional harm to the suspect’s family. “


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