Florida authorities yesterday released previously unseen video footage of the moment Ashad Russell, a passerby, fatally shot a suspect who was in the process of brutally attacking a police officer on November 14 last year. Dean Bardes, a Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy, was, at the time, being attacked by Edward Strother, 53. On spotting the passerby, Bardes pleaded with him to shoot the victim. According to Amira Fox, the Florida Chief Assistant State Attorney, at that time Strother was brutally attacking and punching Bardes and was seen to be reaching for his gun.

The passerby obliged, shooting Strother dead.

According to The Washington Post, Bardes was at the scene of the traffic accident on I-75 and was helping two Florida Highway Patrol officers. He noticed a gray Toyota Camry passing by at high speed and decided to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle. At that moment, the driver stopped on the side of the road, pointing a gun at Bardes, before driving off again. When the driver finally came to a stop at an off-ramp, Strother started attacking Bardes.

Passerby comes to the Florida deputy’s rescue

According to Russell, the suspect jumped over the driver’s door of the police deputy’s patrol car, landing on top of Bardes. He then started beating the Florida deputy violently.

It was as things progressed and got worse that Bardes called out to Russell, telling him to please shoot the attacker, all the while trying to ensure Strothers couldn’t reach his gun. Russell says he asked Strother on numerous occasions to get off of Bardes. Finally, fearing for the deputy’s life, Russell fired three rounds, striking and killing the attacker.

As reported by ABC News, after the second shot, Strother told Russell he had better kill him. According to the state attorney’s office, Russell obliged with what is thought to be the fatal shot, directly to Strother’s neck.

'Stand your ground' law applies in the incident

After Russell shot Strother dead, he dropped his weapon to the ground, waiting in his vehicle for the police to arrive.

He said he was in shock at the time, wondering what his fate would be. However, Russell carries a concealed weapons permit and due to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, he was not charged in the shooting. As for Bardes, he only suffered minor wounds from the incident.

The video footage, included below, was taken by a witness on their cell phone, while sitting in their own vehicle overlooking the attack. It shows Russell pointing his weapon at Strother, who was on top of Bardes on the road at the time. Russell can be seen to fire the gun, leaving Strother lying dead on the road.

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott reportedly posted on Facebook two days after the incident to say that two heroes had met on the I-75 on that day, thanking Russell for his prompt actions.

Strothers had a violent history

It turns out Strothers has a violent past, as the state attorney’s office says there was a warrant out for his arrest at the time of the incident. Strothers had missed a pretrial hearing relating to an incident where he allegedly attacked a hospital security guard. The statement said the man’s neighbors had noticed Strother acting in a bizarre way around that time. The suspect’s family had reportedly said Strother suffered from severe depression and mental breaks.