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Dead suspect in Brevard County traffic-stop shooting identified as Cocoa man

MELBOURNE, Fla. — One person was killed and a Brevard County Sheriff's deputy was injured when a Monday afternoon traffic stop erupted with gunfire, officials said.

What You Need To Know

  •  At about 1 p.m. Monday, deputies pulled over a vehicle on U.S. 192 near I-95

  •  According to officials, an individual in the vehicle they stopped opened fire on the deputies

  • They returned fire, killing the suspect; one of the deputies received non-life-threatening injuries in the exchange

  • The dead suspect was identified by the sheriff's office as Paris Wilder, 38, of Cocoa

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday identified the deceased shooting suspect as Paris Wilder, 38, of Cocoa. The sheriff's office said Wilder had 40 previous arrests, including 23 felony arrests.

The incident started just after 1 p.m. in the area of U.S. 192 and Interstate 95, when a vehicle was pulled over, Brevard County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Mike DeMorat said.

Two deputies were on the scene when an occupant in the vehicle opened fire, he said.

Witness Daniel Brown said the scene unfolded like something more fit for the silver screen.

“I mean it was like a scene out of a movie," he said. "I mean if you weren’t there, you wouldn’t believe it. And he just jumped out and started shooting.”

During the confrontation, the alleged shooter was killed and one of the deputies was injured, DeMorat said, adding that the deputy's injuries were not life threatening.

Neither deputy involved was identified by the sheriff's office. Both deputies are on paid administrative leave, as is customary in all cases when a deputy shoots someone in the line of duty, the sheriff's office said. Once an investigation is completed, it will be submitted to the State Attorney's Office for review.

Brown said he responded to help the injured deputy before additional emergency personnel arrived at the scene.

“I pulled across the street after I heard all the gunshots stop," he said. "So then I come across the street, I walk up to the cop. I’m like ‘tell me what to do, tell me what to do.’ He’s like ‘put a tourniquet on my leg.’ 

"So he said ‘take my shoe off.’ I took his shoe off. Then I pulled the tourniquet up, I tightened it down, and then meanwhile I was already on the phone with 911.”

According to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, the injured deputy was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne for treatment. 

After the shooting, U.S. 192 was closed in both directions between I-95 and St. John's Heritage Parkway, along with the southbound I-95 exit onto U.S. 192. By 6:30 p.m., the roadway had reopened completely in both directions.

No other suspect was being sought by investigators and there was no ongoing danger to the community in connection with the shooting, DeMorat said.


Sheriff: 2-month-old baby was ‘directly in the middle’ of deputy-involved shooting in West Melbourne

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. – Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said a 2-month-baby was “directly in the middle of the shootout” when a gunman stepped out of a vehicle and shot a deputy in the leg during a Monday traffic stop, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

Two BCSO deputies returned fire, killing the gunman, identified later as 38-year-old Paris Wilder, of Cocoa.

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The shootings occurred just after 1 p.m. along U.S. 192 in West Melbourne, just west of the Interstate 95 overpass. Afterward, investigators cordoned off the long-vacant former Texaco gas station site at Columbia Lane with yellow crime scene tape.

The wounded BCSO deputy is hospitalized and expected to make a full recovery, Ivey said in a 5-minute Monday night video message.

The investigation continues, and Ivey said dashcam video will be publicly released.

Early during the traffic stop, Ivey said a second BCSO deputy arrived at the scene to assist. He said the suspect vehicle had three occupants, and the 2-month-old baby and the gunman were in the back seat.

Ivey said the suspect was asked to exit the vehicle — and in an ambush, he started firing at the deputy closest to him with a short-barreled rifle. That’s when the deputy was shot in the lower leg. Both deputies returned fire.

“The suspect was the initial aggressor in this case, as he concealed his weapon until he exited the vehicle and immediately began firing on our deputies in an attempt to take their lives and avoid arrest, as he was wanted on several warrants,” Ivey said.


“As the suspect continued to violently engage our deputies, he concealed himself multiple times behind the cars and eventually ran up behind one of our deputies — using the butt of the rifle to strike him multiple times in the head, causing significant lacerations and tissue damage,” he said.

The other deputy shot the suspect multiple times, Ivey said. He did not identify the deputies involved in Monday’s shootings, and he did not divulge further details.

“The suspect is a perfect example of what is wrong with our criminal justice system, as he is a registered career criminal with 23 felony arrests and 17 misdemeanor arrests for narcotics trafficking, aggravated assault with a weapon, robbery with a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and attempted first-degree felony murder,” Ivey said.

“This career criminal was actually out on bond and on our streets, where he could attempt to kill our deputies and put others’ lives at risk — when he should have been locked up safely behind bars a long time ago, where he couldn’t victimize another citizen or innocent bystander,” he said.


A couple of hours after the shootings, Chief Deputy Michael DeMorat outlined basic details of the incident during an outdoor news conference at the shopping complex off Coastal Lane. That’s when eyewitness Souad Houssamy walked up and addressed reporters — she had been car shopping at nearby Audi Melbourne.

Houssamy, who lives in Palm Bay, said she and her husband were driving from the St. Johns Heritage Parkway east along U.S. 192 when they encountered the shooting scene. She said she heard a woman screaming, “Help! Help! Please help!” and a deputy was lying on the ground. The other deputy was pointing his gun toward a car.

“It is getting worse. This thing has to stop. We are worried. We’ve been in this town for 35 years. We don’t have no problem. Now, every time you hear something going on — which is not right,” Houssamy told reporters.

“It has to stop. We have to be peaceful,” she said.

Wilder was a “registered career offender” with 40 previous arrests, including 23 felony arrests for charges that included robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a weapon, multiple narcotics offenses, battery of a law enforcement officer and attempted first-degree felony murder, according to the sheriff’s office. Wilder was out on bond for two felony drug charges and had two active felony warrants at the time of the incident.

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Gunman killed, Brevard County deputy shot in leg during traffic stop near West Melbourne

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — An armed person was killed and a Brevard County deputy was injured Monday afternoon in a shootout during a traffic stop near West Melbourne, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators said a deputy pulled over someone on West New Haven Avenue, west of Interstate 95, and a person in the car shot the deputy.

Photos: Deputy injured in deputy-involved shooting near West Melbourne

They said two deputies returned fire, killing the armed person.

Officials said the injured deputy was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

In a video statement, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said, “He deserves exactly what he got. Now, he can’t ever harm anyone else.”

Ivey describes the suspect as a “career criminal” who was out on bond. He confirmed there was a 2-month-old child in the back of the suspect’s car.

Ivey said the the injured deputy was shot in the leg. He also said one of the deputies was struck with the butt of what he described as a short stock rifle.

See his full statement below:

Deputy-involved shooting Deputy-involved shooting in Brevard County.

Check back and watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates to this breaking story.

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See video of the scene below:

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See a map of the scene below:

Deputy-involved shooting Deputy-involved shooting in Brevard County.

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Baby was ‘directly in the middle’ of deputy-involved shooting in West Melbourne

Dashcam video shows shooting in Melbourne that left suspect dead, 2 deputies injured

MELBOURNE, Fla. (WSVN) — A heated exchange of gunfire was caught on camera between deputies and a man during a routine traffic stop.

“What’s that? In the car? He wants to talk to you out here,” said Brevard Sheriff’s Office Deputy Thoman.

New dashcam video from the sheriff’s office showed the moment deputies were ambushed in Melbourne last week.

The entire incident lasted about a minute and was captured on two different dashboard cameras.

Deputies Brian Potters and Thoman were conducting a traffic stop last month when a man hopped out of the backseat of a car and opened fire on the deputies.

“This was an extremely violent ambush that both of our deputies and the occupants of the vehicle were extremely blessed to survive,” said Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

Deputy Thoman was seen talking to a woman outside her vehicle about a 2-month-old baby and dog in the backseat while the vehicle occupant is leaning against the rear of the car.

“Hahaha, I’ll make sure they’re OK. I got babies too,” said Thoman.

The suspected shooter was sitting in the back seat, before he got out and opened fire.

The suspect then took cover at the front of the vehicle, putting the baby inside at risk.

Potters was heard saying he was struck by gunfire around the same time the suspect appeared to be wounded by return fire.

As the deputies moved to the side of the police cruiser, the suspect attacked Potters from behind when his rifle jammed.

He struck him in the head with the butt of his weapon before they both went out of frame and fell to the ground.

Thoman then fired multiple shots at the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Potters was shot in the leg and sustained head lacerations, tissue damage and bone fractures.

Officials said the two men standing outside the vehicle during the traffic stop had nothing to do with the ambush attack.

In total, 61 rounds were fired.

“This individual got exactly what he deserved, because evil can never be dead enough,” said Ivey.

The suspect had 23 felonies, 17 misdemeanors and two active drug investigation cases pending.

Both deputies are recovering and are expected to be OK.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Brevard sheriff releases video of ambush shooting that left gunman dead, deputy shot

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. — The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office released dashcam video Thursday of an ambush shooting that ended with the gunmen dead and a deputy shot.

Investigators said that on Aug. 30, a deputy pulled over a car on West New Haven Avenue, west of Interstate 95.

READ: Gunman killed, Brevard County deputy shot in leg during traffic stop near West Melbourne

Moments after offering to watch a 2-month-old in the back of that car, Deputy Brian Potters was forced to run for his life when the suspect jumped out of the car with a weapon.

As deputies were speaking to people inside of the car, a third man jumped out of the backseat and opened fire on the deputies.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey identified the suspect as a “career criminal” who was out on bond.

WATCH: ‘I played dead and I prayed’: Girl remains hospitalized after family killed in Polk County shooting

At the time of the shooting, Paris Wilder, 38, had two active bench warrants for his arrest in connection to two separate drug cases.

“When you look at the video, but for the grace of God, our two deputies, or those two innocent bystanders, or that baby could have died at the scene,” Ivey said.

READ: Sheriff: Manhunt underway after woman, baby found dead in car in Orange County

Ivey said the injured deputy was shot in the leg and also struck with the butt of what he described as a short-stock rifle.

Video released by the sheriff’s office shows the chaotic scene, and shots rang out from the gunman and deputies.

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See more in the video above.

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Florida sheriff's office releases video of fatal deputy-involved shooting


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