Here’s how the situation began:
[Officer] Bardes and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper were at the scene of a car crash when Strother’s Toyota Camry swerved and drove along the left shoulder at what seemed to be at least 100 miles per hour, nearly striking the officers, a witness told the News-Press.
Believing the near-crash was intentional, officials said, Bardes chased the Camry southbound on I-75 until the driver stopped and got out of his car at an off-ramp.
There are witnesses to the following, as well as photos. Strother, the driver, managed to deck Officer Bardes, who fell to the ground, whereupon Strother straddled him and beat him. Strother was also reaching for the officer’s firearm. Then:
A few feet away, Ashad Russell, who had a concealed-carry permit, was also watching the attack unfold. Russell pulled his gun and approached, the review said. He told the attacker that “he would shoot Strother if he didn’t stop beating the deputy.”
On the ground, the deputy “pled for help and asked that Russell shoot Strother.”
Russell shot, and Strother died. Under Florida law, this is allowable “because [Russell] had ‘a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm’ to the deputy, the state attorney’s office concluded.”
And, as you might have expected, Strother’s brother:
…criticized the sheriff’s response to Strother’s death and questioned the details of the fight. “They are calling him a good Samaritan?” Louis Strother told the News-Press. “Was my brother armed?”
I guess trying to hit an officer with your car at high speed, and then trying to get his firearm while straddling and beating him isn’t good enough to be called “armed.”
Oh, and by the way: both Strother and Russell were black, and Bardes white.