UPDATE: (2/6/14 11:00 a.m.) The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tallahassee Regional Operations Center, Perry Police Department and Taylor County Sheriff’s Office are investigating, with assistance from the FBI, a shooting in which a Taylor County sheriff’s deputy exchanged gunfire with a suspect.
Just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Earl Edward Clauge, Jr., 51, an employee of Timberland Ford, crashed a vehicle into the front of the dealership, exited the vehicle, and began shooting.
Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Lundy was in the dealership having his car serviced and immediately responded. Gunfire was exchanged and Clauge. was killed. Two civilians were shot and are recovering at local hospitals while three additional victims suffered minor injuries.
“The selfless actions of this deputy saved many lives today,” said Taylor County Sheriff L.E. “Bummy” Williams. “The safety of the citizens of Taylor County is our main concern, and Deputy Lundy was willing to risk his own life today to save others. I am proud of his bravery and his heroism is to be commended. Deputy Lundy, his family and the victims are in my prayers.”
UPDATE: (4:40 p.m.) In a press conference held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, FDLE Spokesperson Gretl Plessinger credited the actions of Taylor County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Robert Lundy with saving “a lot of lives.”
Lundy was on duty inside Timberland Ford getting his TCSO vehicle serviced when the suspect, who has only been identified as a current employee of the dealership, drove his vehicle into the front lobby and opened fire with a semi-automatic shotgun, injuring Lundy and two civilians, who were also not identified. Three others were reportedly injured at the scene as well. During the incident, Lundy shot and killed the unnamed suspect.
According to Plessinger, Lundy was in critical but stable condition at an area hospital after undergoing emergency surgery for his injuries. She also said that at the time of the press conference, all of the wounded were expected to survive.
Investigators are working to establish a timeline of events surrounding the shooting, including a possible motive, and local law enforcement are expected to hold a press conference Thursday.
UPDATE: (1:10 p.m.) According to FDLE, a single suspect entered the dealership and began shooting. The suspect is deceased. A deputy from Taylor County Sheriff’s Office and two civilians were injured and are being treated at local hospitals.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to Timberland Ford around 10:30 this morning (Wednesday) after a reported shooting.
Law enforcement officers were still at the scene and U.S. 19 was closed in both directions.
Two ambulances were observed leaving the scene. One individual who appeared to have a wound on his hand was also transported in the front seat of a law enforcement vehicle.
We will update with additional details as they become available.