A sheriff’s deputy in Florida was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call on Christmas Eve, according to authorities.
Cpl. Ray Hamilton, a five-year veteran and member of the Okaloosa County Sherriff’s Office (OCSO) Special Response Team, succumbed to his injury at a hospital Saturday afternoon following a standoff at a home in Fort Walton Beach, per news releases from OCSO. The suspect in the fatal shooting, 43-year-old Timothy Price-Williams, was detained and faces a charge of premeditated murder.
OCSO had obtained a warrant for Price-Williams on a domestic violence battery charge but he refused to exit his townhome, authorities said. “The victim reported Saturday morning that Price-Williams had slapped her in the face and shoved her during an argument the night before, taking away her phone so she could not call 9-1-1 for help,” OCSO said.
“The OCSO Special Response Team was summoned to try to negotiate with Price-Williams to give himself up peacefully,” OCSO said. “Several deputies, including Corporal Ray Hamilton, entered an area behind the backyard fence of the premises to help establish a safe perimeter. Once they got into position, shots were fired from inside the home and Corporal Hamilton was struck.”
Hamilton was transported to HCA Florida Fort Walton Beach-Destin Hospital where he succumbed to his injury shortly after 3 p.m., authorities said.
“We are devastated by the grief of losing Corporal Hamilton, a deputy who was a ray of sunshine in the OCSO, dedicated to protecting others,” said Sheriff Eric Aden. “We appreciate the endless stream of words of support that have come in for his family and his co-workers as we face this heartbreaking loss of a profoundly loved and respected friend, public servant, and hero.”
The National Fraternal Order of Police tweeted, “Please pray for the friend and family of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence situation. The violence against our law enforcement MUST STOP!”
At some point in the standoff, Price-Williams came out of the home “in a manner that caused another deputy to fire on him, injuring Price-Williams in his right arm,” OCSO said. Price-Williams received medical attention at a hospital and was then transported to the jail, authorities said. He was charged with first-degree premeditated murder.