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Mack awards deputies the Congressional Badge of Bravery

By Staff | May 1, 2012

Congressman Connie Mack (FL-14) presented the Congressional Badge of Bravery to two Southwest Florida law enforcement officials who risked their lives to protect others during a deadly shooting.

Mack presented Sgt. Pat McDonald and Deputy Ryan Justham with the Congressional Badge of Bravery at an awards ceremony at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 24, 2010, deputies responded to a possible suicide at a private residence in Lehigh Acres. Upon arrival, a 44-year-old male was found staggering down the driveway. He had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest. Paramedics responded, but the man succumbed to his injury.

As the scene was secured, the mother of the victim was found in her hospital bed inside the residence. She had not been injured. Meanwhile, the caller, who had initially notified the Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 operator, arrived on the scene and identified the victim in the driveway as her husband, not the brother who was feared suicidal.

A search for the 40-year-old brother was initiated inside the home. He was observed hiding under a bed and armed with a .45 caliber UZI submachine gun. Deputies directed him to surrender, but instead he began shooting at the deputies. The deputies were forced to return fire to bring an end to the deadly confrontation.

An independent review of the shooting confirmed the deputies were justified in their use of deadly force and the gunman was also responsible for the death of his older brother.

Source: Lee Countty Sheriff’s Office