Sheriff: Clay deputy shot suspect to avoid being crushed by truck

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MIDDLEBURG, Fla. — A Clay County sheriff said his deputy was seconds away from being crushed by a pickup truck when he opened fire on the driver during a traffic stop.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Sheriff Rick Beseler said Lt. Shawn Gordon jumped onto the truck as it backed toward him at a “high rate of speed” during a Sunday night traffic stop. Driver Timothy Van Griffin remains in critical condition.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating. Beasler said his office will also do an internal investigation.

The Florida Times-Union reports the truck sped toward Gordon as he was walking toward the truck after checking 33-year-old Griffin’s driver’s license. Gordon fired his gun several times. The truck struck the patrol car and pushed it backward.

The races of the deputy and the driver weren’t immediately available.

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