Deputy Bill Myers was killed on Tuesday while serving a domestic violence injunction

By Tara Fowler
Updated September 23, 2015 10:25 AM
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Credit: Okaloosa Sheriff's Office/AP

A 26-year veteran sheriff’s deputy was killed on Tuesday while serving a domestic violence injunction at a local attorney’s office in Shalimar, Florida.

Deputy Bill Myers, 64, had served the papers on the subject, 33-year-old Joel Dixon Smith, and turned to leave the office when he was fatally shot from behind by Smith, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Smith then ran to a nearby hotel, and was holed up for more than an hour before he was killed by members of the agency’s Special Response Team after he charged out of the room firing his weapon.

Myers had worked with the sheriff’s office for 25 years before retiring in 2013. He returned part-time in January to help with serving civil papers, trying to earn extra money to pay for trips to Disney World with his young granddaughter.

“He had an ability to make those around him smile, especially his young granddaughter who he adored and took to Disney World as often as he could,” Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley said in a news conference Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

Ashley added: “He was a part of our family. We are a family here.”

Annie Allen and her boss, David Wray, were working at the awning store next to the law firm when they heard the gunshots. They ran out and found Myers bleeding on the ground.

Allen called 911, while Wray held Myers’ head. “It was the saddest thing I’d ever seen,” Wray said, according to the AP. “I cradled his head for a while. He was bleeding profusely.”

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