Home / Lee deputy involved in Bokeelia shooting speaks out

Lee deputy involved in Bokeelia shooting speaks out

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New evidence is being brought to the light in the aftermath of a confrontation that nearly turned deadly between a Lee sheriff’s deputy and civilian.

Deputy Wilfred Rivera remembers in detail the night he shot Rickey Beaty at his Bokeelia home. Rivera says he was dispatched to Beaty’s house on Aura Lane and discovered both Beaty and his son Brian inside.

MORE: Man arrested, accused of stabbing deputy in Bokeelia

Rivera says he was talking to Brian when he spotted a fillet knife partially hidden under a pillow.

“And I’m trying to let the son know if he grabs it…it’s not going to go good, which I didn’t want it to go to that point, but as I was saying that, he grabbed the knife…he grabbed the knife and stood up,” Rivera said.

Moments later, he says Beaty charged at him.

“So as I’m backpedaling, I hit the wall…and by hitting the wall that gave him time to get on me..and I felt the jabs…and him push again..and I’m like no,” Beaty said.

He adds that Beaty’s son was trying to stop his father, and got in the line of fire so he couldn’t shoot.

He told officials his vest stopped the knife attacks, but as he went to push down on it, Beaty pulled the knife away and cut open his middle finger. Seconds later, Rivera broke free and shot Beaty in the chest.

“I had to do something…or I would get stabbed. He did anyway. Luckily I had my vest. But I couldn’t do anything because his son was there…so I had to basically take the hit until I could back up and take my shot,” Rivera said.

After opening fire, Rivera says he got a hold of his radio from Beaty’s son and called for help.

The state attorney later released a statement saying that the actions of the officer involved in the incident were justifiable as self defense.

Beaty’s weapons were taken away as part of the new Red Flag law passed after the Parkland massacre.