An armed citizen saved a Florida sheriff's deputy from a vicious beating on a highway.

An armed citizen recently saved a Florida sheriff’s deputy from a vicious beating on a highway when he shot the man attacking him.

In Estero, Fla., witnesses report that a police officer was chasing a suspect at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Eventually, the driver stopped on an off-ramp, exited his vehicle, and attacked the deputy, dragging him from his police car and beating him on the ground on I-75.

“He just kept beating him and beating him,” said witness Shanta Holditch in this story from “…Throwing him to the ground and punching him in all different directions.”

Then witnesses report seeing another man, who had pulled over when during the altercation, run up with a firearm drawn, the story says.

Holditch said the suspect “refused to get off the officer and the officer kept yelling, ‘Shoot him, shoot him, shoot him,’ and then he shot him. I think approximately three shots were heard.”

“I heard like three shots. He fell down on top of the police officer,” said a witness identified as Mr. Smith. “After a moment, the police officer rolled him back over, got on his mic, then rolled over back on the ground besides the guy.”

Eyewitness accounts agree. WINK news, witness Rick Maestas said: “There was a high-speed pursuit on the left shoulder when I got off the ramp…there was a man on top of another man …they were struggling for a little bit then I heard three shots…then the man who was sitting on top of the police officer fell to the side…the police officer got up, he was exhausted and laid back down, then help came.”

The story says it’s unclear if the person who shot the suspect and saved the deputy was a Good Samaritan with a concealed-carry firearm, or an out-of-uniform police officer.

However, the WINK story identifies the officer as Deputy First Class Dean Bardes, and says the shooter was a passerby with a concealed carry permit, but does not attribute the information.

The deputy who was attacked was transported to a local hospital and is expected to recover. says no new details have been released as of this morning.