An Okaloosa County, Fl., Sheriff’s deputy was killed yesterday, reportedly gunned down from behind by a man the county sheriff called a “sick little coward,” the Pensacola News Journal reports. Bill Myers, 64, had served a domestic violence injunction to Joel Dixon Smith, 33, when Smith shot him in the back multiple times and in the head once, Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley said. Smith retreated to a hotel room in Niceville. The hotel was evacuated, and after about 90 minutes of negotiations with deputies, the sheriff’s office tear-gassed the room.
Smith left the room brandishing a handgun, and deputies shot him to death. Myers, a 25-year veteran, had retired in 2013. He returned in January to work part time. Yesterday, the sheriff’s office had arranged for Smith to accept the injunction. After he was served, Smith told Myers he had weapons in his car and then shot the deputy as he walked away to investigate. When asked why Smith shot Myers, Ashley responded, “He’s a coward. He was fearful of going to jail. He was fearful of losing his weapons. He’s a sick little coward.”