Dad grabs gun and joins officer in gunfight with suspect in yard, Florida cops say

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An old-fashioned gunfight broke out outside a Florida home when a brave father grabbed his gun and joined a deputy exchanging shots with a suspect in the yard, investigators say.

It happened around 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, near Zolfo Springs, and began as a case of domestic assault by a man identified as Morgan Miguel Garcia, who was accused of violating a restraining order, police said. Hardee County Sheriff’s Office in a news release. Zolfo Springs is about 75 miles southeast of Tampa.

None of the people in the home were hit by gunfire, but the 29-year-old man managed to escape in the darkness, authorities said.

“The deputy found Garcia in the backyard of the wooded property…armed with an AR-15,” the sheriff’s office reports.

“The deputy ordered García to drop the weapon, but he did not comply. Instead, Garcia took cover and began shooting at the officer. The agent returned fire with his agency-issued rifle. …The victim’s father, fearing for the lives of his family, retrieved his 9mm pistol and returned fire.”

It was during the exchange of gunfire that the officer observed García shoot several times at the door of the house in an attempt to reach the family members who were taking refuge inside.

“Unable to get through the door of the residence, he put the butt of the AR15 through a window. Garcia then fled on foot and the officer lost vision,” officials said.

The people in the home were evacuated and the search continued through the night for the “armed and dangerous” suspect.

He was finally captured “without incident” on Wednesday afternoon, when a tip led officers to a home at an undisclosed location.

García has been charged with “aggravated assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, shooting at a building, aggravated assault with a firearm, robbery with a firearm, attempted robbery with a firearm, robbery with assault or battery , aggravated stalking, violating the condition of preventive release, discharging a firearm in a residential area and committing criminal acts.”

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