The Florida State Attorney’s Office has released footage of the armed citizen whom they cleared of wrongdoing after he shot and killed a man who was attacking a Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy.
35-year-old Ashad Russell was cleared of charges stemming from when he opened fire on suspect Edward Strother on November 14 of last year, after giving verbal commands for Strother to stop assaulting LCSO Deputy First Class Dean Bards, whom Stother was beating to a pulp in the middle of an Interstate 75 exit.
“Our agency review is closed and no further action action shall be taken by this office based upon the facts presented by this investigation and the applicable law,” a statement from the state attorney’s office read.
The identity of Russell -a Concealed Weapons Permit holder- was not initially released for several months after the incident. While the Lee County Sheriff’s Officer determined the citizen had a right to engage Strother, the ultimate decision to press charges or not rested with the state.
Bardes was working a traffic stop when Strother nearly ran him over, resulting in Bardes taking off on a high-speed chase. Unfortunately, Bardes did not have the upper hand upon dismount and was forced to the ground by Strother, who attacked Bardes and went for his service pistol.
Upon observation of the scene, Russell ordered Strother to stop before opening fire.
Russell thanked the state attorney’s office and Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott in a statement secured by WINK News, applauding their “their prompt review of the incident and for respecting his privacy until the investigation was completed.”
“Mr. Russell and his family will continue to pray for everyone involved, especially the gentleman that passed away, and all those who witnessed the incident that day,” the statement continued.
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