May 24, 2018

Highlands County deputy sent to Lee Memorial for treatment dies Monday

09 May 2018, 07:52 | Rufus Hill

Deputy shot answering call about possible cat shooting, officials say

Deputy shot, critically wounded while responding to dispute over cat

A Highlands County sheriff's deputy was shot and critically wounded while answering a call about a neighborhood dispute "that was over a cat that had possibly been shot", officials said.

According to the newspaper, Highlands County Sheriff Paul Blackman said Gentry spoke with the cat's owner and the man believed to have shot the animal, Joseph Edward Ables, 69. After speaking with the person who called 911, Gentry went to contact the neighbor suspected of shooting the cat, 69-year-old Joseph Ables.

Deputy Gentry is also an organ donor, and the HCSO said, "In true spirit of a public servant, Deputy Gentry's organs will be donated so that some good may come out of this unthinkable tragedy". Gentry was rushed to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers where he died Monday afternoon.

The deputies confronted Ables, who allegedly shot Gentry before he was brought under arrest. Brown. They first spoke to the pet owner, and Gentry walked over to Ables' home at 234 Baltimore Way.

Ables, a convicted felon with an apparent history of violence toward law enforcement, was taken into custody at the scene.

A subsequent post shows a Highlands County Sheriff's Office star-shaped shield with a purple stripe over it to symbolize mourning.

But a law enforcement officer paid the ultimate price.

On Tuesday, May 15, at 11 the Highlands News-Sun Center, there will be a law enforcement memorial service where hundreds of officers from across the state and nation are expected to be in attendance.

Gentry is a field training officer and has served for over nine years with the sheriff's office, where his brother is a detective, Blackman said. We are heartbroken at this reminder that law enforcement put their lives on the line every moment they are on duty for their fellow citizens.

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