Public Information Officer
Sheriff Johnson Honors Team That Worked Hospital Shooting
The incident started shortly before 4 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 5 with a report of someone opening fireon a vehicle that was traveling past the hospital. The gunman also shot out the windows of several parked vehicles before blasting his way through the glass doors of a building at the medical complex and then making his way to the second floor of the hospital. There, the gunman accosted several nurses and patients. Once law enforcement discovered that the gunman was inside the hospital, they quickly formulated a search plan and assembled a multi-agency search team to go inside the facility and seek out the threat. Sheriff Johnson noted that this was in stark contrast to the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. Back then, the common wisdom was for law enforcement to hold down the perimeter and wait for special forces to arrive. Now, instead of waiting, first-responding law enforcement officers are trained to immediately go into the building when there’s an active shooter and find and neutralize the threat. And that’s exactly what happened at Halifax Health Medical Center. “The training that the agencies have done has made a big difference,” remarked Sheriff Johnson.
A team of Daytona Beach officers and Sheriff’s deputies entered the building and began a methodical search for the gunman. As they were closing in on him, he took his own life. Sheriff Johnson made particular mention of the teamwork involved, saying the color of the uniforms, whether green, grey or blue, made no difference. On that day, they were all working as one. The Sheriff also praised the telecommunicators working the call at the Sheriff’s Office’s dispatch center, as they worked the radio channels involved in the incident while calmly answering multiple 911 calls from concerned citizens. “This partnership serves as an example of cooperative, multi-agency teamwork,” notes the citation that accompanied the commendation. “Everyone’s professional actions and instinctive reactions to the situation reflected their excellent training and resulted in a positive outcome to a potentially deadly incident.”
The recipients of the unit commendation were as follows:
Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies: Sergeant Jeffrey Wingard, deputies Lonnie Feaster, James Greene, Jason Turner, Michael Webb and Gregory Wiggins.
Daytona Beach Police: Lieutenant William Rhodes, officers Diego Besse, Marcus Booth, Timothy Jackson, Brian Milligan and Joseph Sellix.
Sheriff’s Office telecommunicators: Telecommunicator Supervisor Shonna Foster, telecommunicators Kimberly Barlow, Melita Beauchamp, Wayne Bundy, Dwayne Kempf, Alexie Kibbe, Marirma Perez and Gloria Roberts.
Volusia County Beach Patrol: Officer Joseph Marlett
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151