On Friday a Florida sheriff’s deputy stopped a motorist for operating a moped with no tag, and within seconds, the traffic stop turned violent after the driver punched the deputy before pulling a gun and exchanging fire with the officer, authorities say.
Video of the encounter between Indian River County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Lester and Andrew Coffee, 52, was released by the department Friday and appears to show Coffee punching the officer in the face before both men disappear from view. Shots can be heard off camera.
According to Florida Today, the incident began after Lester stopped Coffee around 3 a.m. Friday. The officer can be heard on dash cam warning Coffee, "Don't go reaching for anything." Coffee puts his hands on the hood of the officer's car, then removes them and asks, "What's the problem?"
Before Lester can answer, Coffee, as shown in the video footage, punches the officer in the face. A scuffle ensues as both men disappear from view. According to a statement from the sheriff’s department, Coffee pulled a gun from his waistband and began shooting at the officer, who returned fire. A male voice, presumably Lester's, can be heard yelling, "Shots fired."
Florida Today reports that during the exchange, Lester was shot in the leg and Coffee was hit twice. Coffee was found shortly after the shooting and taken to the hospital. Lester was treated and released from the hospital Friday and was reported to be in good condition. Coffee underwent surgery, but his condition was unknown, Florida Today reports.
According to the newspaper, Coffee was released from prison in May 2014 after serving 20 years for first-degree murder, and he was scheduled to appear in court Jan. 3 for a drug arrest earlier this month.
Read more at Florida Today.