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Slain Charlotte County Deputy Michael Wilson was shot from above

1:51 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- The fatal bullet that struck Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Michael Wilson Monday night entered his body above his bullet-resistant vest, just below his neck.

The suspect, 49-year-old Jay Vanko, fired the shot from above; he was at the top of a staircase and Wilson was at the bottom. The 20-year veteran was responding to a fight involving Vanko, his wife and son.

There is only one, straight staircase leading to the apartment where the shooting occurred, at Lakes of Tuscana Apartments in Port Charlotte, Sheriff Bill Prummell said at a news conference today.

"Basically it's a fatal funnel," he said.

So as not to endanger other deputies, the sheriff's office brought in a robot from Sarasota to ascend the stairs following the shooting. Based on the robot's surveillance, deputies ascertained Vanko was dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Wilson leaves behind a wife and three children, ages 13, 15 and 16.

Prummell spoke to Wilson's widow at the hospital.

"It was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do in my career," he said, "and I wouldn't wish it upon anybody."

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