ESTERO, Fla. Newly released cellphone video shows the moments immediately before and after the fatal shooting of a man who attacked a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy on Exit 123 of Interstate 75.
The video includes the sound of three shots from the gun of Lehigh Acres resident Ashad Russell, who fired at Edward Strother, of Ocala, on Nov. 14, 2016, after Strother didn’t respond to commands to stop struggling against Deputy First Class Dean Bardes.
Russell, 35, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the death of the 53-year-old Strother. Bardes was treated and released at Lee Memorial Hospital.
In the video, Russell, a concealed-carry permit holder, is shown walking up to the spot where Strother and Bardes were grappling on the pavement. Later, Russell can be seen with his weapon drawn a few feet from that spot.
“I jumped out of my van to go assist in whatever way I could, but before I got over there, there was a guy that had a gun pulled on him, on the guy attacking the police officer, telling him to get off the police officer several times,” witness John Barnes-Morrison said.
“The police officer’s screaming, ‘Shoot him! Shoot him! Shoot him!'”
Russell is shown dropping his gun and walking away in an apparent daze.
“I mean he was pretty shook up.,” Barnes-Morrison said. “Just distraught over it. Me and one other gentleman were encouraging him, enforcing that he did the right thing.”
The state attorney’s office ruled it a justified shooting. Russell has consistently declined comment on what happened, and the state attorney’s office called on the public to respect his privacy.