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'Armed and dangerous' man wanted for murdering man on Father's Day, police say

Lake Wales Police Department has an arrest warrant for Tex Gifford who they say shot Bruce Spry at least six times after an altercation on Father's Day.
Credit: Lake Wales Police Department

LAKE WALES, Fla. — Lake Wales Police says they are searching for an "armed and dangerous" man wanted for shooting and killing a man on Father's Day.

Lake Wales Police Officer Emmanuel Viera was on patrol Sunday night when he says he heard multiple gunshots being fired in the area of Dr. J.A. Wilshire Avenue.

He says he saw a large group of people was gathered near the intersection of Dr. J.A. Wilshire Avenue in the parking lot of a vacant and run-down building, according to police.

Shortly after arriving at the scene, Officer Viera found a man later identified as 42-year-old Bruce Spry of Bradenton. He had been shot at least six times and died.

During the homicide investigation, police discovered 40-year-old Tex Gifford of Sebring and Spry got into a verbal argument earlier that Father's Day evening. Gifford left the location but then came back within the hour and fired shots at Spry, police say.

Police say another man, a 28-year-old from Lake Wales, was hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Police believe that his injuries were unintentional; he was treated and discharged from the hospital.

The Lake Wales Police Department says officers have an arrest warrant for Gifford who has been charged with first-degree murder. Police classified him as a "dangerous individual" and say he is considered "armed and dangerous."

Anyone with information on where Gifford may be is asked to call 911 or local law enforcement. 

Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest. 

RELATED: Lake Wales police investigating late-night double shooting

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