Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has released footage of two deputies being ambushed by a felon with an extensive criminal history on August 30.
Brevard County Sheriff’s deputies Brian Potters and Tyler Thoman were conducting a traffic stop in Melbourne. Dashcam footage shows a woman outside of her vehicle and a man leaning against the rear of the vehicle. There is a 2-month-old baby, a dog, and another man in the backseat of the vehicle.
Deputy Potters approached the man sitting in the backseat of the vehicle and attempted to have a friendly conversation with him. Potters asked the man to exit the vehicle. At that point, the individual gets out of the vehicle and pulls a rifle on the deputies, and starts shooting recklessly.
The deputies returned fire, and a total of 61 rounds were fired during the shootout. Potters and the suspect are both injured at this point. The suspect attempts to sneak up on the deputies who are taking cover on one side of the police SUV. When the suspect’s gun jams, he uses it to smash Potters in the back of the head. They both fall to the ground and get into a scuffle.
Thoman then shoots his weapon at the suspect who is attacking Potters, and ultimately the suspect is shot to death. Potters sustained multiple injuries, including multiple head lacerations, tissue damage, and bone fractures in his face.
“As you can clearly see in the video, both of our deputies were in a battle for their lives as this disgusting and evil individual had a blatant disregard for their lives, the lives of others at the scene, and the life of a 2-month-old baby in the car. When I tell you, we are blessed that God was watching over our deputies and those present at the scene, I mean it from the bottom of my heart.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey
The shooter was eventually identified as Paris Wilder, who has a long criminal record.
“The attack and ambush were perpetrated by a violent, career criminal, with a history of 40 charges for crimes including drug trafficking, aggravated assault while discharging a firearm, battery on a law enforcement officer, and attempted first-degree felony murder. I’m personally sickened that by the fact that this thug with such a violent criminal history was out of jail where he could almost kill two of our deputies.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey
“This case is a perfect example of what is wrong with our criminal justice system. When a registered career criminal with 23 felony charges, 17 misdemeanor charges, multiple convictions for violent offenses, and two active and pending drug trafficking cases is out on our streets where he can attempt to kill our deputies and put other lives at risk, something is wrong with our system.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey
Thanks to the quick actions of Deputy Thoman, he was able to save Deputy Porter’s life. Sheriff Ivey defended Thoman’s actions.
“Let there be no doubt, this individual got exactly what he deserved, and to those out there that might be foolish enough to ask why we shot him so many times, the answer is simple: evil can never be dead enough.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey