More Details Revealed in Northwest Florida Shooting

By: Kristina Hamilton Email
By: Kristina Hamilton Email

What started out as a domestic disturbance call in Okaloosa County, Saturday turned into a deadly double shooting, a chase, and another shoot-out in Walton County.

The reality of what happened is sinking in for the northwest Florida community.

More details about the gunman and the fallen heroes are surfacing.

It hasn't even been 9 months since the first Okaloosa County deputy in the department's history, was killed in the line of duty.

Ironically, the day before the department had two more gunned down, the Forida Senate approved the Deputy Anthony Forgione Act, which will reform the Florida Baker Act.

At Saturday night's press conference the pain from loosing two more of their own rang loud and clear.

When asked how painful this must be, Sheriff Edward Spooner, of the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Department, said, "it tears us's hard to deal with folks."

Saturday's shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute at an apartment complex between Joshua Cartwright and his wife earlier in the day.

The suspect left the apartments and drove to a gun club.

That's where the incident turned deadly.

Joshua Cartwright shot two at the Shoal River Gun Club just east of Crestview.

Deputy Warren "Skip" York and Deputy Burt Lopez were both life-flighted to a hospital in Pensacola where they both later died.

Sheriff Spooner says despite wearing bullet proof vests they lost two great men.

Both deputy York and Deputy Lopez were 45-year-old retired military. Both leave behind children.

Sheriff Spooner says, "they are good Christian folks god family folks."

Investigators say after being shot, Cartwright fled the scene heading east on U.S. Highway 90.

Deputies placed spike strips in the road to stop the chase.

Walton County deputies returned fire, killing Cartwright.

In all Sheriff Spooner says between 50 and 60 shots were fired at the Defuniak Springs location.

According to investigators Cartwright was arrested last November for battery charges against his wife.

They also say he spent time in the national guard and most currently was employed by a sprint store.

But Sheriff Spooner says his men did not anticipate Cartwright to behave so violently.

"We sure lost two very good men, a tragic situation, but I don't think anybody anticipated he'd get to the level he did as quickly as he did," said Sheriff Spooner.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is processing evidence from several different scenes.

Typically the agency handles officer-involved shootings, but there's no word yet if that's the situation in this case.

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  • by karen Location: darlinton on Apr 28, 2009 at 03:19 PM
    I want to thank all of the men and women who put their lives on the line for all of us.
  • by sylvia Location: Defuniak spings on Apr 27, 2009 at 02:13 PM
    I was there and saw the officer's life flighted .I will never forget these brave men.They will be missed!Their families are in our prayers.
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