Florida will need a major image overhaul after this month is over. Over the weekend in the small town of Warrington, an unarmed man was shot by a pair of sheriff’s deputies responding to a 911 burglary call. In a solid display of inept police work, the cops open fired on Roy Middleton outside his own home.
Middleton, 60, was fishing around his mother’s parked Lincoln Town Car in the driveway of their home looking for a cigarette early Saturday (July 27) morning, according to a report from the Pensacola News Journal.
A neighbor who obviously didn’t know Middleton reportedly dialed 911, thinking that he was a thief up to no good. When the Escambia County sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they ordered Middleton to step from inside the car. Following the orders, Middleton got out of the car with his hands out then deputies Jeremiah Meeks and Matthew White fired their service weapons.
“It was like a firing squad,” Middleton said while recovering at Baptist Hospital. “Bullets were flying everywhere.” Initially, Middleton thought the officers were friends playing a prank but things got real when he was shot in the leg. Middleton’s injury, while not significant, could have been worse considering the damage done to his mother’s car.
“I’m just glad they didn’t hit me here or here,” he said to the Journal, pointing toward his head and chest. “My mother’s car is full of bullet holes though. My wife had to go and get a rental.”
A girl who lives in the the neighborhood witnessed the incident, and said that Middleton showed no signs of violence or resistance to warrant the shots. “He wasn’t belligerent or anything,“ the girl said. Middleton was baffled by the lack of diligence by the sheriff’s deputies and their impatience.
“Even if they thought the car was stolen, all they had to do was run the license plate,” Middleton said. “They would have seen that that car belonged there.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting and placed deputies Meeks and White on paid administrative leave. Considering the Sunshine State’s track record for justice according to some, Middleton may have cause to worry.
Check out photos of the bullet-riddled car and Middleton on the following pages.