In a rather unfortunate series of events, a Florida based wildlife officer was shot and killed, as he attempted to halt a hit and run driver.
The 30-year-old Florida Citizen was recognized as Fish and Wildlife Commission officer, Julian Keen Jr. He was working in the renowned agency for around six years, while being off duty when the incident occurred.
The shooting took place in the LaBelle district, early Sunday morning, on June 14th. Following the incident, deputies encircled the Apache Circle and corresponding Nobles Road area, situated near State Road 78.
According to reports, the officials upon their arrival, discovered that Officer Keen was fatally shot and wounded during the encounter.
The case is now being handled by Florida’s Law Enforcement Department, alongside assistance from Hendry County’s Sheriff’s Office. Further reports claim that three suspects, involved in the shooting, were taken into police custody for thorough questioning.
Steve Whidden, Hendry County’s Sheriff, released the following statement regarding the incident:
“We are deeply saddened by the death of FWC Officer Keen. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, members of FWC, friends, and community. We will do everything we can to bring about justice to those guilty in his shooting death. We all knew Officer Keen, and he wasn’t only our brother in blue-but a role model for the community, he will be missed.”
At the same time, a tribute was written and released on Facebook, in light of the horrifying incident, by Florida’s Highway Patrol Command Officers Association:
“FHP Command Officers are praying and remembering our fallen but NEVER forgotten brother, FWC Officer Julian Keen, who was murdered last night while following his calling to protect and serve others.
He was a genuine officer who would give his shirt off his back to ANYONE who needed it. Please pray for his family and law enforcement everywhere as we face these troubling times.
John 15:13 – ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’.”
The Tampa Bay News reported that Officer Keen was a leading standout in both the fields of football as well as track, during his student life at LaBelle High School. He also continued his passion for football at Webber International University.
Moreover, Florida police said that they have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of an off-duty officer.
So many thoughts and condolences have reached Officer Julian Keen Jr’s family as well as friends, during this difficult time period.