WARNING: video contains graphic content.
Authorities in Florida have released the above cell phone footage showing a concealed carrier fatally shoot a man who was viciously beating a Lee County Deputy in November 2016.
We reported last year that Deputy Dean Bardes was helping the Florida Highway Patrol work an unrelated traffic incident when 53-year-old Edward Strother sped by at a high rate of speed and nearly struck him.
Bardes, a 12-year veteran of the department, began chasing Strother along I-75, until Strother pulled over on an off-ramp and approached Bardes as he was getting out of his patrol car and attacked him. Bardes could not break free and it was all he could do to keep his attacker from getting the pistol in his holster.
This is where the video comes in, showing Strother straddling Bardes on the ground. A large man in bright blue, identified in this story from guns.com as Ashad Russell, gets out of a parked vehicle and walks up to the scene with a handgun held low in his left hand. Police say Russell witnessed everything that had occurred since Strother pulled over with Bardes in pursuit.
Russell approached the two men, and though we can’t hear it clearly on the video, police and witnesses say Russell repeatedly told Strother to stop beating the deputy and to get off him, but the suspect ignored the commands and continued to reach for Bardes’ gun. As he struggled, Bardes yelled for Russell to shoot his attacker.
We hear Russell fire twice, fairly quickly, but Strother remained atop the deputy. Russell then fired a third time and Strother fell to the side.
After a few moments, we see an obviously emotionally overcome Russell walk away from the scene as he lets his pistol fall from his hand to the roadway.
Russell revealed later that he was in shock after the shooting. Strother had been shot three times and died at the scene.
Later, as we reported earlier, Russell’s handgun was impounded by police as evidence. Shoot Straight, a Fort Myers gun shop, reportedly gave the then unidentified Russell a replacement pistol (a Springfield XDS) free of charge.
Russell is not expected to face any charges.