Deputy saved by vest has long road ahead, sheriff says


Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 3:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 3:39 p.m.

For Deputy William “Frank” Williams, whose life was saved by body armor after he was shot directly in the chest on Saturday night, the ordeal is far from over, said Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell.

“I called him Sunday afternoon, first to tell him that I was thankful he was alive and that I understood he'd been through quite an ordeal," Darnell said on Monday.

“I also told him he was entering an isolation period because of the administrative process, and it would be uncomfortable but necessary for the investigation. And I told him it will be important to reconnect with friends and family in a new way during this time after this life-changing experience.

Williams and Deputy Jake Skelly were responding to a 911 call of a fight at Tower Oaks Glen apartments at 6900 SW 21st Lane at about 11 p.m. when investigators say Recardio Shormon Clark fired on Williams.

Clark, 33, of Gainesville - a convicted felon with a history battery on law enforcement - died at the scene from wounds he received when Williams returned fire.

Skelly did not shoot. Authorities said they believe he felt it would have posed an additional risk to Williams.

In Alachua County, law enforcement officers must be placed on an administrative leave anytime they use deadly force in the line of duty. During Williams' leave, there will be a criminal investigation into the shooting as well as an administrative investigation to ensure proper protocol was followed.

Williams and Skelly have both been with the agency since 2010.

Williams will undergo “killology” training with retired Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who helps people deal with the psychological and physiological effects of killing someone in the line of duty.

Darnell said Gov. Rick Scott had reached out to both Williams and Skelly to thank them for their service. Williams is the first ASO deputy to be shot on the job since Darnell took over in 2006.

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