A passerby who shot and killed a man who was attacking a Florida sheriff’s deputy will not face any criminal charges.
The State Attorney's Office formally cleared Ashad Russell, reports the Daily Mail.
Russell, 35, came to the rescue of Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Dean Bardes on Nov. 14, when he saw Edward Strother attacking the deputy on Interstate 75.
Bardes had pulled over Strother for speeding. Strother, 53, then attacked Bardes, pinning him to the road and punching him repeatedly.
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Russell, who has a concealed weapons license, was armed when he emerged from his vehicle to help. Bardes, apparently noticing Russell had a gun, instructed him to shoot Strother. After repeatedly warning Strother to get off Barnes, Russell shot him three times in the neck, killing him.
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott praised Russell in a Facebook post:
I thank the hero that recognized the imminent threat, rushed to Deputy Bardes’ aid, and ultimately stopped that threat. In a day and age where race is a near instant focus for media and other pundits in police incidents, the fact is that this hero happens to be a man of color who stopped another man of color from further harming or killing a white cop; thereby reminding us that black lives matter, blue lives matter, and indeed all life matters.
After reviewing the case, the SAO determined that Russell was "justified in using deadly force when he reasonably believed that the use of such force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to Deputy Dean Bardes or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony upon Deputy Bardes. Our agency review is closed and no further action shall be taken by this office based upon the facts presented by this investigation and the applicable law."
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Louis Strother, brother of the deceased, offered a dissenting view, as noted by The Washington Post. “They are calling him a good Samaritan?” he asked. “Was my brother armed?"