An Ocala Police Department officer shot at and missed an armed suspect who, along with others, made threats at Promenade Apartments before returning in a vehicle with firearms.
On Thursday, September 16, at approximately 4:30 p.m., police officers responded to a reported battery at the Promenade Apartments, located at 1421 SW 27th Avenue. While officers were on the scene investigating the altercation, witnesses indicated that one of the groups involved had left the complex stating that they were going to return with firearms and shoot the reporting parties.
Officers immediately began conducting surveillance within the complex in an attempt to apprehend the subjects. While officers were surveying the area, they observed a vehicle occupied by four subjects enter the complex and proceed to the south side of the property.
Witnesses then began running from that area, notifying officers that the vehicle was the same one involved in the original altercation and that they were now armed.
As OPD officers approached to further investigate, two of the subjects fled on foot. The first suspect was quickly apprehended within the complex by the OPD Directed Patrol, Violent Crimes unit.
The second suspect, Dallas Dothard, 23, was pursued throughout the complex and refused to comply with repeated instructions to stop and show his hands, according to a press release from OPD. After a foot chase, Dothard produced a handgun and the patrol sergeant who was in pursuit fired one round from his department-issued handgun. The round missed Dothard, who then discarded his weapon and continued to flee on foot.
The sergeant continued to give chase and Dothard was apprehended a short distance away from where the shot was fired.
He was then taken into custody without further incident. This case is currently under investigation by the Major Crimes Unit.
“The bottom line here is that our officers prevented what certainly could have escalated into an active shooter situation within the complex which would have jeopardized the safety of many innocent people” said Ocala Police Chief Mike Balken. He says he believes the sergeant who discharged his weapon did so “well within guidelines, and while demonstrating an incredible amount of restraint.”
OPD says at this time, it will not release the name of the sergeant involved in the shooting in order to “give him and his family some privacy.” The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.