Wildwood, FL – An armed felon was shot by two off-duty Hernando County deputies after he pulled a gun on them when they showed up to purchase jet skis from him.
The incident occurred at 6981 County Road 219 at approximately 2:36 p.m. on July 7, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said in a press release.
The two off-duty Hernando County deputies had made prior arrangements to meet a man at the residence after they spotted an online ad about the sale of jet skis.
But when they arrived, a man approached them armed with a semi-automatic handgun, and pointed the weapon at them.
The gunman, later identified as 19-year-old Terrance Terrell Jones, had no idea that the men he was attempting to rob at gunpoint were off-duty law enforcement officers.
When Jones ordered the would-be victims to get onto the ground, the deputies pulled out their own concealed firearms in self-defense.
They identified themselves as law enforcement officers, but Jones refused to drop his weapon, WFTS reported.
Jones started shooting, and suffered non-life threatening wounds to his leg when the deputies returned fire, the SCSO said in the press release.
A second suspect managed to flee the scene on foot.
Jones was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm, robbery with a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, WFTS reported.
He was previously convicted of felony offenses of robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and was on probation at the time of his most recent offenses.
According to police, the man who owns the jet skis also owns the home where the attack occurred, but he had no idea that his property had been used to place the fake ad.
SCSO noted such offenses have been occurring more frequently in the area as of late, and warned residents to “be cautious when attempting to complete person to person online purchase transactions.”
“Conduct the transaction in a public place and if necessary contact law enforcement to be present during the transaction,” the department added.