Report: Officers fired 110 times at suspect in slaying

Published October 1, 2006

LAKELAND - Officers fired 110 rounds of ammunition at the suspect in the killing of a Polk County sheriff's deputy, according to an autopsy and records released by the sheriff's office Saturday.

Angilo Freeland - who allegedly fatally shot Deputy Vernon Matthew Williams after being pulled over for speeding Thursday - was hit 68 times by the SWAT team members' shots, the examination showed.

"You have to understand, he had already shot and killed a deputy, he had already shot and killed a K-9 and he shot and injured another deputy," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said by phone Saturday. "Quite frankly, we weren't taking any chances."

Freeland's death ended a search that plunged the generally quiet central Florida town of Lakeland into a frenzy. Schools were locked down and families were told to stay indoors as 500 officers from around the state scoured the woods searching for a suspect.

Ten SWAT officers surrounded Freeland on Friday as he hid underneath brush and a fallen tree in a rural area. Authorities say he raised Williams' gun at them, prompting nine of the officers to fire.

"I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had," Judd said. "We were not going to take any chance of him shooting back."