Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach
Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy David Sanders has been cleared in the shooting of Travis Leon Hayes.
Sanders and another deputy were dispatched May 1 to the scene of a confrontation involving a man with a knife. They arrived at a home at 4156 State Road 20 E. in Freeport to find Francis Muldowney cut and bleeding, according to an investigative report on the incident conducted by the State Attorney’s Office.
Saunders and Deputy Karagan Hatley made their way to the kitchen looking for Hayes. The report states they could hear him shouting as they approached.
“Travis Hayes was holding a knife and was very agitated,” the report said.
Sanders ordered Hayes to put down the knife. “Hayes responded with profanities toward the officer and continued with his agitated responses,” the report said.
Hayes ignored several orders to drop the knife and began to walk toward Sanders in an aggressive manner, according to the report.
Hayes was “yelling that Deputy Sanders ‘didn’t have anything but a Taser,’ ” the report said.
Sanders used his Taser but Hayes continued to approach.
“Hayes increased his speed coming towards Deputy Sanders,” the report said. “At that time Deputy Sanders fired his weapon, striking Hayes three times.”
The State Attorney’s Office found “the shooting of Travis Hayes was the result of a justified use of deadly force.”
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