ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.
Authorities have identified an Orange County deputy who was shot and killed early Tuesday morning in the line of duty as Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine. They say his killer took his own life.
Pine, 34 , was responding to reports of car break-ins on Westminster Abbey Boulevard in the Courtleigh Park community of Doctor Phillips.
Resident Kevin Butler said he saw the suspect poking around in cars in
a neighbor's driveway, then walking toward Butler's house.
Butler said he went outside to confront the suspect, who has been identified as 28-year-old Benjamin Holtermann, but Butler said the man disappeared.
Minutes later, Butler said, a woman, later identified as Erica Pugh, asked him a question and then got in the suspect's car and drove away despite his efforts to block her.
Investigators said Pine arrived at the scene and immediately called out the suspect's description over the radio.
Pine then stopped Holtermann, according to investigators, but the man fled.
According to the
sheriff's office, Pine chased Holtermann through a nearby backyard and collapsed after Holtermann shot him.
"The fire department was immediately contacted and they responded to the shooting location, rendered all aid they could. He was transported to the trauma center (at Orlando Regional Medical Center) where they made valiant efforts to save our deputy," said Capt. Angelo Nieves of the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Holtermann was later found dead in the neighborhood with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the fallen deputy and to the entire Orange County Sheriff’s Office," Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said in a statement. "We mourn the loss of this courageous deputy, who gave his life in the line of duty and in the service of Orange County’s citizens. Our full resources are at the disposal of Sheriff Demings and his department, as well as the family of the slain deputy.”
Investigators apprehended Pugh a short time later and said she confessed to a recent armed robbery, which happened in the area of Hiawassee and Old Winter Garden roads.
She was charged with several counts of burglary of a conveyance and grand theft.
Investigators said both Pugh and Holtermann were transients with no apparent ties to central Florida.
Sheriff's officials said Pine was married and the father of three children. He started with the department in January 2011.
In a release sent to Channel 9, Orange County Sheriff
Jerry Demings said, "The citizens of Orange County lost a true hero who was tragically killed patrolling the streets of our community. I ask the community for their prayers for our fallen deputy's family which includes a wife and three small children. Thank you for your continued support as we go through these trying times together."
Investigators said they believe Pine was wearing his bulletproof vest when he was shot and killed.
sheriff's officials announced that there has been spike in the number of auto burglaries in the area. They have posted electronic billboards warning people to lock their vehicles.
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