CLEWISTON, Fla. One person was arrested Friday afternoon for allegedly shooting a Hendry County Sheriff’s Office deputy, the department said.
The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, will face attempted murder charges, the department said.
Deputy Jayson Moorehead, 42, was shot behind the M&M Convenience Store on Kentucky Avenue after speaking with a group of individuals, said the department, which described the incident as an ambush.
“Last night we had three deputies out last night doing a business check,” said sheriff’s office spokesperson Capt. Susan Harelle. “He had walked around the building and saw someone slip around the corner. As he walks back to check it out, he hears another noise and as he shines his flashlight in the direction the noise was coming from, he was shot.”
Moorehead, who joined the department six months ago with no prior law enforcement experience, was shot in the upper left arm, the sheriff’s office said.
A person of interest was detained, but officials have not said if that person was the one arrested.
Moorehead was in surgery Friday afternoon and is expected to make a full recovery, the department said.
“We are very fortunate he wasn’t seriously injured,” Sheriff Steve Whidden said. “We’re still investigating and will do everything we possibly can to bring about an arrest and conviction.”
Ginnie Fountain, who lives near the convenience store, said she wasn’t surprised to hear about a shooting in the area but described the neighborhood as a great place to raise children.
“Our law enforcement is set up to protect, and for them to be targeted, shot at unnecessarily, it’s just really hard to comprehend,” she said. “We just live in a day and age where we have to be aware of our surroundings no matter what.”
The shooting was difficult for deputies to comprehend as well, Harelle said.
“I just think it’s a shame,” she said. “Our job is there to protect human life, property. I think we’re all a little taken back by it. We’re relieved he’s going to recover from it well.”
WINK News reporter Channing Frampton spoke with Clewiston’s police chief and city manager about the incident:
Investigators were questioning a second man who may have information leading to the arrest of the shooter, the sheriff’s office said.
Anyone with additional information regarding the shooting is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 863-674-5600 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477), where callers may become eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if their tip leads to an arrest.