Society

Deaf Florida Man Shot Dead By Sheriff's Deputy

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A Sheriff’s Deputy reportedly shot dead a man who was deaf and physically disabled.

Edward P. Miller, 52, was at Fryer’s Towing Service in Daytona Beach, Fla. with his 25-year-old son, also named Edward, when the shooting took place.

According to Sheriff Ben Johnson's statement at a press conference, Miller was brandishing a firearm when Deputy Joel Hernandez shot him.

Miller and his son were at the towing company twice that day to resolve a dispute over his car being towed.

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During their first tip, the employee Miller dealt with called the police after he was allegedly rude and yelled at her, and then showed her he had a holstered gun. She reportedly feared for her safety.

Miller’s son says he was yelling at the woman because he only had 2 percent of his hearing.

The elder Miller lost most of his hearing as a child when he contracted mumps. He became further disabled a few years ago when he was injured cutting down a tree.

“My dad was a loving, caring person,” said the younger Miller in tears. “He would give the shirt off his back to anyone.”

Miller had a valid conceal-carry permit, so police allowed him to keep the weapon and no charges were made against him.

He and his son returned to the towing company later in the day to pay the amount owed for the tow.

Deputy Hernandez and another deputy were already there on an unrelated matter when they say they heard a heated argument.

Hernandez went outside to investigate, identified himself as a deputy, and then he noticed Miller had a gun.

“While the specific sequence of events isn’t being released at this time due to the ongoing investigation, during the encounter, Hernandez perceived a threat and fired his duty weapon, striking and killing the man,” said Gary Davidson, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department.

Before the deadly shot went off, Miller’s son claims he tried to explain to the deputy's that his father was deaf, reports Raw Story.

“I kept telling them that he can’t hear them,” said Miller. “I kept telling them he can’t understand them.”

Miller would not speak of the events that led to the shooting to News-Journal, except to say, “I can’t be here in Daytona Beach after what happened.”

Whether the Deputy knew Miller was deaf is under investigation.

“We’ll let those investigations play out and see what happens,” sheriff’s spokesman Brandon Haught said.

The shooting is being investigated by both the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement told the Miller family to not release any information related to the incident.

“Yesterday they hid me from the cameras,” Miller said. “They didn’t want any information about what happened out.”

Hernandez and the other deputy have been placed on administrative leave with pay.

Deputy Hernandez, 35, was investigated in a fatal shooting last year and was cleared of any misconduct.

Photo Source: Raw Story