Last week, Deputy First Class Dean Bardes, a 12-year veteran of the Lee County Florida Sheriff’s Office, was at the scene of an accident on I-75 when he saw a car speed past him at a very high rate of speed. The car was cruising in the shoulder lane doing at least 120 mph. Bardes pursued the driver for several miles. The driver finally came to a stop. When Bardes approached the car he was attacked. A witness said, “I watched the suspect jump out of his car and run toward the officer and tackled him.”
The suspect, 53-year-old Edward Strother, charged the Deputy and slammed him to the ground, jumped on top of him and began beating him. The Deputy was in danger and fighting for his life when a bystander showed up and pulled out his gun. He told Strother to stand down multiple times but his warnings were ignored. The bystander, who wishes to remain anonymous, fired upon the assailant three times, killing him. The bystander had a concealed carry permit.
According to Florida laws, because the gun was involved in a shooting, it has to be confiscated and taken in as evidence during the investigation. A local gun store manager heard about this and did not take kindly to this man now being unarmed. The store owner contacted the sheriff’s department to connect with the man so he could come and get a brand new gun at the Shoot Straight Gun Store, free of charge. The manager says it is all about having each other’s backs.