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Air Force identifies US service member fatally shot by Florida law enforcement

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla.  — The U.S. Air Force said an airman based at the Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida, was shot and killed Friday during an incident involving a sheriff's deputy.

Senior Airman Roger Fortson, 23, died at his off-base residence, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement released Monday.

A deputy responding to the call of a disturbance in progress “reacted in self defense after he encountered a 23-year old man armed with a gun," the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said in a news release on Friday.

Fortson was taken to the hospital where he died, officials said.

Fortson was assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron as a special missions aviator, where one of his roles as a member of the squadron's AC-130J Ghostrider aircrew was to load the gunship's 30mm and 105mm cannons during missions. He entered active duty on Nov. 19, 2019.

In a statement, the Air Force's 1st Special Operations Wing said its priorities are “providing casualty affairs service to the family, supporting the squadron during this tragic time, and ensuring resources are available for all who are impacted.”

The sheriff's office said the deputy was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.

Copyright Associated Press 

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