Citrus Deputy Mitch Cook is graduating from school resource officer to retired law enforcement officer

Citrus Deputy Mitch Cook is graduating from school resource officer to retired law enforcement officer

Deputy Mitch Cook is retiring from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) after completing a 30-year career in law enforcement. (CCSO photo on June 21, 2019)

Now that graduations are over, students have said their goodbyes and the hallways are empty, School Resource Deputy Mitch Cook is ready to retire.

Deputy Cook is retiring from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) after completing an outstanding 30-year career in law enforcement.

Deputy Cook started working for CCSO on August 3, 1989, as a Deputy Sheriff assigned to the Patrol Division. Throughout Deputy Cook’s career, he served the agency as a K9 Deputy, a detective, a bailiff, a corporal, a Field Training Officer and lastly, Deputy Cook ends his career as a School Resource Deputy at Citrus High School.

“We are grateful to Deputy Cook for his many years of service to the citizens of Citrus County,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “His continued devotion to mentoring the youth of our community through the School Resource Deputy program will be sincerely missed. We wish him a healthy and very happy retirement.”

During Deputy Cook’s career, he received numerous accolades for his integral roles in cases such as the 1998 arrest of counterfeiter Tom Fox and for his role as a courtroom bailiff during the emotional Jessica Lunsford murder trial of John Couey. Please join us in congratulating Deputy Cook on his dedicated career and wishing him a long, healthy, and happy retirement.

Floral City man dies after not dropping gun; UPDATE: Man identified

A Floral City man, thought to be possibly suicidal, was shot and killed on Friday night by Citrus County deputies.

Citrus County technicians and detectives investigate the scene where a man was shot and killed by a deputy. According to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, the man was shot after he refused to put down a weapon he was carrying (August 31, 2018)

A Floral City man, thought to be possibly suicidal, was shot and killed on Friday night by Citrus County deputies.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said that the incident occurred at about 11:52 p.m. when deputies responded to a call of  a possibly suicidal man at a home at 5699 Sandalwood Way in Floral City.

Once deputies arrived on scene, they attempted to make contact with the subject at the front door. After unsuccessful attempts to locate the subject inside of the residence, deputies then began to search the outside of the home in an effort to locate and evaluate the man.

While in the front yard of the residence, deputies noticed a subject across the street in a wooded area, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies immediately began announcing themselves while walking toward a man in the woods. Deputies quickly noticed the man was holding a firearm.

Deputies gave several verbal commands to the man to lower and drop his weapon. After refusing their commands, deputies shot the armed man.

He was pronounced deceased at the scene. No deputies were injured during the incident.

As with any deputy-involved shooting, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is on scene and investigating this case. Following agency policy, deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the preliminary FDLE investigation.

This is the second time this week a death occurred after an encounter with deputies.

The first was on Thursday, when a Beverly Hills woman, 45-year-old Jessica Cribbs, was shot and killed during a drug search warrant. In that incident, the woman pointed a gun at officers and refused to put it down. She was subsequently shot by a Hernando deputy and killed. The warrant for the drug search was executed by law enforcement officers from Citrus and Hernando counties.

UPDATE:

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 6 identified the suicidal man shot by deputies is 64 year old Dennis Ray Blalock from Floral City.

Homosassa man facing murder charge

A Homosassa man who was shot by a Citrus County deputy on Thursday after running into his vehicle and then attempting to run him over was discharged from the hospital on Friday and arrested in Pasco County on a Citrus County warrant.

William Bryant of Homosassa has been charged with the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. More charges are pending.

A Homosassa man who was shot by a Citrus County deputy on Thursday after running into his vehicle and then attempting to run him over was discharged from the hospital on Friday and arrested in Pasco County on a Citrus County warrant.

William Bryant, 21, of Homosassa, is charged with the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

He has no bond.

The investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is standard procedure. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement about the incident that it is thankful that the Citrus deputy is okay, and that no others were injured during this dangerous altercation.

More charges are pending.