PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Two years ago Friday police officers, firefighters, and sheriff’s deputies found themselves under fire from an active shooter.
“That day was brought on by evil,” said Sgt. David Sullivan, a sniper with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.
After killing his ex-wife’s fiancee in Walton County and dousing his Panama City apartment in gasoline Kevin Holroyd fired more than a hundred rounds from his second-story apartment. When Sullivan got on scene Holroyd was keeping law enforcement at bay by firing on both sides of his apartment.
Sullivan, grabbed his backup sniper rifle, a .308 DPMS AR 10, and began searching for a location where he could get a clear shot.
“From the vantage point where I was I could see Deputy Doug Pierce,” Sullivan recalled. “He was pinned down behind his Dodge Charger which I believe had about 20 rounds going through that Dodge Charger towards him.”
From about 60 yards away Sullivan spotted a window that he suspected belonged to Holroyd. The blinds were halfway up and the outside screen was popped off and laying on a bush.
“So I basically kept an eye on that actual apartment right there and while I did I saw an AR15 or a long gun come out of the window and a hand,” Sullivan said. “So I took aim at the hand and I shot.”
It happened in seconds and yet aech shot had a purpose.
“So first off, with shooting his hand, that’s what I could see. If I could take out his hand that he was actually using to shoot the gun that was a plus,” Sullivan said. “He wouldn’t be able to shoot anybody else and definitely in this lethal force situation you want to take out what you can see at the moment.”
The first shot was aimed at stopping the gunfire. The next three shots were aimed at stopping Holroyd.
“At that point I raised up 8 inches shot into the window. I went back down to the windowsill shot him there. Another eight inches below that I shot him again,” Sullivan said. “I was hoping to possibly, basically take him out from the entire situation.”
After the shots were fired the scene turned quiet. Investigators later learned that Sullivan shot Holroyd in the hand, in his other arm, and in the neck.
“It went silent for about a minute and twenty-three seconds. And then at that point right there we heard a slight pop,” Sullivan said.
After being shot, Holroyd made his way to a bedroom and attempted to set a group of flares on fire in hopes of burning down his apartment, according to an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Because of injuries he could not light the flares.
Instead, he used a gun and took his own life, investigators said.
“When you bring the fight to law enforcement we are going to bring whatever we can to stop the situation,” Sullivan said.