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US Service Member Shot and Killed by Florida Police Identified by the Air Force
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 weeks ago on
May 7, 2024

Senior Airman Roger Fortson was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in Florida. The incident is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. (AP/U.S. Air Force)

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FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force said an airman based at the Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida, was shot and killed Friday during an incident involving a sheriff’s deputy.

Senior Airman Roger Fortson, 23, died at his off-base residence, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement released Monday.

A deputy responding to the call of a disturbance in progress “reacted in self-defense after he encountered a 23-year-old man armed with a gun,” the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Friday.

Fortson was taken to a hospital where he died, officials said. The deputy involved was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.

Fortson’s Role in the Air Force

Fortson was assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron as a special missions aviator, where one of his roles as a member of the squadron’s AC-130J Ghostrider aircrew was to load the gunship’s 30mm and 105mm cannons during missions.

In a statement late Tuesday, Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden said the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the incident and the State Attorney’s Office will conduct an independent review. He said the sheriff’s office was “saddened” by the shooting.

The Air Force’s 1st Special Operations Wing said its priorities are “providing casualty affairs service to the family, supporting the squadron during this tragic time, and ensuring resources are available for all who are impacted.”

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