Florida Father and Deputy Exchange Fire with Armed Suspect

HARDEE COUNTY, FL – A Florida man was apprehended on Wednesday after being accused of initiating a shootout involving a law enforcement officer and a family, according to police reports. The incident, which took place on Tuesday night, fortunately resulted in no injuries.

Morgan Miguel Garcia, a 29-year-old from Zolfo Springs, now faces multiple charges including assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer and aggravated stalking, as stated by the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident began around 9:40 p.m. when a deputy responded to a call regarding a restraining order violation at a Zolfo Springs residence, where Garcia was reported to be armed with an AR-15. Upon the deputy’s arrival, Garcia was found in the backyard of the home. Despite commands to drop his weapon, Garcia allegedly fired shots at the deputy, who returned fire with his department-issued rifle.

During the exchange, the victim’s father, fearing for his family’s safety, joined in defending his home. “The victim’s father, fearing for his family’s lives, retrieved his 9 mm handgun and returned fire toward Garcia,” the sheriff’s office reported. Garcia is said to have attempted to shoot his way into the residence, where the family was sheltering.

After breaking a window in an attempt to enter the home, Garcia fled the scene, leading to a temporary loss of his whereabouts by law enforcement. Following a tip received the next day, Garcia was located and taken into custody without further incident.

The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office highlighted the incident as a coordinated effort between law enforcement and a civilian to protect a family under threat. Zolfo Springs is located approximately 70 miles southeast of Tampa, Florida.

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