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A Highlands County, Florida deputy responded to a call about a man possibly shooting a cat but he was also shot and is now in critical condition.
Authorities said that deputy William Gentry went to the reported scene of the incident about a neighbor being accused of shooting a cat in a Lake Placid community on Baltimore Way.
Gentry approached the neighbor in question to investigate but 69-year-old Joseph Edward Ables instead pulled a gun on the deputy without warning, shooting him dangerously in the head.
Gentry, 40, was immediately flown to Lee Memorial Hospital. He remains in critical condition. Highland County Sheriff Paul Blackman asked for prayers for the seriously injured deputy. He said: “We ask that you continue to pray for Deputy Gentry, and hopefully, that will give him the strength to pull through this.”
Gentry has been working for the Sheriff’s Office for almost a decade now.
Investigators are already familiar with Ables. He is a convicted felon and has a violent history toward officers, including a recent battery charge on a law enforcement officer.
Ables was arrested at the scene and brought to the Highlands County Jail where he remains without bail. He is likely to face multiple charges.
It is not clear if a cat was shot indeed by Ables, and what the condition of the pet is.
Gov. Rick Scott also posted a message on Twitter and said: “I have spoken with @HighCoSheriff Blackman on the deputy shot tonight & offered all state resources. Hurting a LEO is pure evil & we won’t stand for it. I ask all Floridans to pray for the family, the HCSO & all the brave LEOs who go above & beyond every day to keep us safe.”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I have spoken with <a href="https://twitter.com/HighCoSheriff?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HighCoSheriff</a> Blackman on the deputy shot tonight & offered all state resources. Hurting a LEO is pure evil & we won't stand for it. I ask all Floridians to pray for the family, the HCSO & all the brave LEOs who go above & beyond every day to keep us safe.</p>— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) <a href="https://twitter.com/FLGovScott/status/993324204014690304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 7, 2018</a></blockquote>
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