Corrections Officer, Double Homicide Suspect Die in Gun Battle
February 02, 2011
GRITNEY, Fla. (AP) — A corrections officer and an ex-convict wanted for killing his parents died in a gun battle Wednesday, state officials said.
The shootout happened after a homeowner confronted Wade Andrew Williams in the woods. Authorities had been searching for the 35-year-old since his parents were found dead in their home in the Florida Panhandle last week.
Williams tried to shoot the homeowner, but missed. He fled, setting off a massive manhunt.
K-9 units tracked Williams through a remote wooded area where authorities believe he had been camping. He shot and killed Col. Greg Malloy, a K-9 officer who had been with department since 1988, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.
Authorities said they believe that Williams killed his parents in Cottondale last week and then went to the Choctawhatchee River Management Area, where he burned his father’s truck and then camped in the area.
Authorities say they don’t know why Williams, who was released from the Tallahassee Work Release Center in August 2009, would have killed his parents. He was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of several burglary and grand theft charges in 2005 and 2006.
“The colonel and other officers put themselves in harm’s way to apprehend this dangerous suspect,” said Holmes County Sheriff Tim Brown in an e-mail statement. “My heart goes out to all his family, friends and fellow officers.”
It has already been a deadly year for law enforcement officers around the country, particularly in Florida, where two St. Petersburg police officers and two Miami-Dade County detectives died in two separate shootings last month.
Associated Press writers Kelli Kennedy and Lisa Orkin Emmanuel in Miami and Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee contributed to this report.
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