Melbourne, Florida — The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has released some shocking police dashcam footage that shows the terrifying moment when a wanted felon attacked two deputies during a traffic stop on U.S. 192 in West Melbourne on Aug 30, 2021.
The incident started around 13:00 hours on Monday afternoon when Deputy Brian Potters conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle off of U.S. 192 just west of Interstate 95 in West Melbourne.
In the initial stages of the traffic stop, Deputy Tyler Thoman arrived on the scene and began to address three occupants of the vehicle.
Deputy Potters continued to speak to a male in the back of a vehicle who was sat beside a baby. Potters can be heard to say to the male: ‘I have a baby too’.
Moments later, the passenger in the back seat of the car was asked to exit the vehicle.
At this point, he got out of the vehicle and produced a short stock rifle and, without warning, began firing at Deputy Potters.
The shooter was identified as 38-year-old career criminal Paris Wilder of Cocoa. He was wanted on several warrants.
Wilder shot Deputy Potters in the lower leg. Wilder was also shot in the leg.
Both Deputies returned fire to save their own lives, protect the others at the scene, and the 2-month-old baby who the shooter had left in the rear of the car before initiating the shootout.
As Wilder returned to the front of the patrol vehicle, his gun jammed.
Both deputies continued to try and engage Paris, who then flanked the officers by running down the side of their patrol car.
Paris then ran up behind Deputy Potters and struck him over the head several times with the butt of his weapon, causing significant head injuries to the officer.
As Deputy Thoman went to re-engage Paris, his magazine ejected from his weapon, forcing the deputy to take cover as he reloaded.
At this point in the firefight, Deputy Thoman was not aware that Paris’s weapon had seized.
Paris continued to assault Deputy Potters on the floor as Deputy Thoman came around the rear of his patrol vehicle – the same vehicle that caught the incident on the dashcam – and neutralised the threat.
Wilder died at the scene.
He was a Registered Career Criminal with no fewer than 23 felony arrests and 17 misdemeanour arrests for narcotics trafficking, aggravated assault with a weapon, robbery with a firearm, battery on law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and attempted first-degree felony murder. At the time of the incident, a Judge had released Wilder on bond.
Deputy Potters is expected to make a full recovery.
A former U.S. police officer has made a ‘breakdown’ video regarding the various stages of the shooting which you can watch by clicking HERE.
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