PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Bay County. It happened shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Thursday after a deputy tried to arrest someone wanted for grand theft and then was disarmed.
Both the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the Panama City Police Department responded to the scene after receiving calls of shots fired near the Bay County Library.
“It appears the Sheriff’s Office was following up on a grand theft case out of Callaway and received information that the suspect was near the library here on 11th Street,” said Sheriff Tommy Ford with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputy made contact with the suspect, 38-year-old Michael Caleb Barrett, near a gazebo behind the Wash Depot. Barrett is believed to have stolen $5,000 from a home in Callaway.
“A fight did ensue, we do believe the suspect was able to disarm the deputy, the deputy had a paddle holster,” Ford said.
Barrett reportedly hit the deputy in the face with the weapon, leaving him with a laceration and possibly a broken nose. Ford says he visited the deputy in the hospital and his face was covered in blood.
At one point during the altercation, Sheriff Ford says Barrett pointed the gun at the deputy and pulled the trigger. But the deputy was able to hold the slide mechanism and keep the weapon from firing.
“He was able to recover the firearm and did fire one shot striking the subject,” Ford said.
Both the deputy and suspect were taken to the hospital.
“The suspect was fighting with the deputies and even the ambulance crew when they were trying to place them in the ambulance,” said Panama City Police Chief Scott Ervin.
The deputy and the suspect are now in stable condition.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has since taken over the investigation.
“We’ll take the facts of that investigation and present those to the State Attorney’s Office and determine if the use of force was justifiable,” Ford said.
Barrett has been charged with Attempted Murder and Aggravated Battery.