Florida: Vest saves police officer shot in the chest

DAVENPORT, Fla. (HPD) — A bulletproof vest saved a police officer who was shot in the chest while investigating a report of a family disturbance at a central Florida home, authorities said Thursday.

The shooting happened around 10 p.m. Wednesday in Davenport, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a video posted on Facebook.

Judd said the suspect, 41-year-old Gabriel Batista, was not at the home when two officers arrived. They were talking to the victims when Batista returned to the house.

“The suspect walked past two patrol cars, got out of his car and confronted my officers in the front yard,” Judd said.

The officer added that Batista had his hands behind his back and refused to show them, prompting one officer to point a gun at the suspect while the other prepared to use a stun gun on him.

“As soon as we went to electrocute him, he shot my officer in the chest,” Judd said. “Fortunately, our officer was wearing a bulletproof vest. The vest saved his life.”

An officer returned fire, but did not hit Batista, Judd said. Batista fell to the ground, tossed his gun aside, and was arrested.

Judd said the officer was taken to a hospital where he was in “excellent” condition and was expected to be released Thursday.

Batista will be charged “appropriately,” Judd said.

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