Cell phone footage recently released by Florida authorities shows the heroic moment a Good Samaritan with a gun fatally shot a man attacking a deputy back in November. On Nov. 14, Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Bardes was being attacked by Edward Strother, 53, when a passer-by came to the rescue.
Bardes had been assisting two Highway Patrol troopers with a traffic crash when he witnessed a car drive by at a “high rate of speed.” When he attempted to pull the car over, the driver, Strother, pointed a gun at him. After eventually coming to a stop, witness Ashad Russell saw Strother jump over the driver’s side door of Bardes’ vehicle, land on top of Bardes and begin beating him violently. Bardes then called out to Russell to “please shoot him” as Strother reached for the deputy’s gun.
Russell said he gave Strother “numerous commands” to stop punching Bardes before firing three rounds from his concealed weapon. According to another witness, Strother said, “You better kill me,” after being shot with a second bullet. Russell’s third shot hit Strother in the neck and was presumed to be the fatal shot. Russell, who had a concealed weapon permit, was not charged in Strother’s death as a result of the state’s “stand your ground law.”
“Mr. Russell, along with many others, witnessed a man violently remove Deputy Bardes from his marked patrol car and attack him,” read a statement by Russell’s attorney. “Despite multiple commands from Deputy Bardes and Mr. Russell to stop, this man did not, and Mr. Russell intervened.”
Two days after the incident, Lee County Sheriff Mike Lee wrote about it on Facebook, saying, “Earlier this week, two heroes met on I-75 and while they had never met before, one would save the others life.”