ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A St. Lucie County Sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot in Fort Pierce Thursday about 9:28 a.m. during a routine traffic stop in south Fort Pierce on Naylor Terrace, said Sheriff Ken Mascara said.
The unidentified assailant was arrested unharmed a quarter-mile away after he crashed his vehicle.
The slain deputy is Sgt. Gary Morales, 35, a 13-year veteran of the department.
“We lost a hero today,” Mascara said at the shooting scene as he prepared to visit Morales’ family.
He is survived by a wife, children and a brother. The brother also is a deputy with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office, Mascara said.
Mascara said he was listening to radio transmissions about the traffic stop that was in a residential neighborhood south of the intersection of King Orange Drive. “It was like hundreds of calls you hear.”
Then came a transmission about a shooting. Morales and another deputy were at the scene when gunfire erupted, killing Morales.
Sometime during the stop, “the suspect got out of his vehicle and shot Sgt. Morales, who was in his patrol car,” according to sheriff’s officials.
The assailant drove off and was pursued until he crashed his vehicle a quarter-mile south on Oleander Avenue. A firearm was recovered.
Until the shooting, the traffic stop was routine. “It just shows you how much danger they are in every day,” the sheriff said.
Mascara said “He (Morales) was a bright young guy who was passionate about his job. He was on the sheriff’s SWAT team and was promoted to sergeant a month ago.
The deputy’s death is the first in the department since 1999, when a deputy on a motorcycle died.
The shooting scene was closed off as deputies investigate the incident. The area around 3200 block of Oleander Avenue will be closed to traffic for the next few hours as the investigation continues.
This was the second law-enforcement officer in less than 12 hours who was shot in the county. A Port St. Lucie officer was shot Wednesday night while responding to a domestic violence call.
Port St. Lucie police Lt. Ron Caudell was treated and released from a hospital after being struck in the leg by pellets from a shotgun while at a home in the 1100 block of Southwest Estaugh Avenue.
Fail to plan, plan to fail.......
Yeah, I know, that's not a very nice thing to say...
Sad day round here!
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My heartfelt sympathies and prayers goes out to the family and all St Lucie Law Enforcement Agencies who are suffering from this needless act.:USA
I wish the SOB would have to fry in Ol' Sparky as soon as he is convicted.
Joined FS forum 10/2001
No doubt, deputy Morales is a hero to his family, and children. God Bless you, sir. :angel:USA
Prayers for his family.
All our prayers go to the officers family
Once is way too many times
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Leaving Florida... take a developer with you!
peace be with his family
We had a very similar situation a couple weeks ago in Jacksonville. Traffic stop at 3am for no tail light, passenger gets out and runs when asked for ID. Officer chases him down on foot, and they wrestle around until the bad guy was able to pull his
.45 from his waist and fire 4 shots at point blank range. He missed, but the 2 LEO's did not. 11 rounds returned with 6 being fatal. He was known to be in a local gang, and also the son of a JSO Corrections Officer.
Apparently the guy had a long arrest record with 5 convictions. A nice man serving his people killed by some worthless worm that should have been locked forever and does not deserve to be in this planet
Either we stop the moaning and groaning about the death penalty and put these guys to sleep or we have to build massive prisons and lock these people forever.................and forget the overcrowding issue. Too bad if they are too close to each other. They chose to be there
Can't imagine the suffering of that officer's family................