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Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Shoots And Kills Woman Coming At Him With A Shovel

Deputy-involved Shooting in Polk County: Woman Attacked Polk County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant with a Shovel

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting that occurred Thursday afternoon at approximately 3:45 p.m. in Wahneta, in unincorporated Polk County, in which a woman attacked a deputy (sergeant) with a shovel.

Deputies were called to the area regarding a suspicious woman who was walking in and out of moving traffic on Rifle Range Road near Noles Lane in Wahneta.

Sergeant Sean Speakman arrived in the area at approximately 3:26 p.m. He located the woman just south of Redemption Baptist Church on the west side of Rifle Range Road and attempted to speak with her. She was in an obvious state of agitation and she was holding a shovel. As the Sergeant was speaking with the woman on a private dirt driveway, she raised the shovel, pointing it towards the Sergeant and began advancing towards the Sergeant.

The Sergeant gave her verbal commands to stop and put the shovel down multiple times and began backing away. She did not put the shovel down, and continued to advance towards the Sergeant, threatening him with the shovel. The Sergeant fired four shots, striking the woman.

Sergeant Speakman radioed that shots had been fired and began life-saving measures, including CPR, and continued until Polk County Fire Rescue arrived. Polk County Fire/EMS took over life-saving efforts. She was transported to a local hospital, where she was declared deceased.

Sergeant Sean Speakman, 46, was hired by the PCSO in 1998 and began working in Information Technologies. He entered the training academy and became a deputy Sheriff in 2005. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2018. He is a patrol sergeant working in the NE District.

Detectives have tentatively identified the woman. Her identification will be released tomorrow, after complete next of kin notification has been made.

Standard protocol for all deputy-involved shootings include four independent investigations: the PCSO Homicide Unit is conducting a death investigation, PCSO Administrative Investigations is conducting an administrative inquiry, the State Attorney’s Office responded to the scene and will conduct a separate investigation, and the 10th District Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an investigation to determine the cause and manner of death. Per agency protocol the member involved will be on administrative leave with pay during the initial phase of the investigation.

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