OCALA, FL – On Thursday, September16, at approximately 4:30 p.m., Ocala Police officers responded to a reported battery at the Promenade Apartments, located at 1421 SW 27th Avenue. While officers were on the scene investigating the altercation, witnesses indicated that one of the groups involved had left the complex stating that they were going to return with firearms and shoot the reporting parties.
Officers immediately began conducting surveillance within the complex in an attempt to apprehend the subjects if they returned to the area. Shortly thereafter, officers observed a vehicle occupied by four subjects enter the complex and proceed to the south side of the property.
Witnesses then began running from that area, notifying officers that the vehicle was in fact occupied by the subjects involved in the original altercation and that they were now armed. As Ocala Police officers approached to further investigate, two of the subjects fled on foot. The first subject was quickly apprehended within the complex by Directed Patrol, Violent Crimes unit and he was arrested without further incident.
The second subject, Dallas Dothard, 23, was pursued throughout the complex and refused to comply with repeated instructions to stop and show his hands. Ultimately, during the foot chase, Dothard produced a handgun at which time the patrol sergeant who was in pursuit fired one round from his department-issued handgun. The round missed Dothard. Dothard then discarded his weapon and continued to flee on foot. The sergeant continued to give chase and Dothard was apprehended a short distance away from where the shot was fired. He was then taken into custody without further incident.
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This case is currently under investigation by our Major Crimes Unit and appropriate charges are forthcoming on both of these individuals. Luckily, no one was injured during what was an extremely tense situation.
Ocala Chief of Police, Mike Balken, stated, “It’s important to note that our officers performed incredibly well during this entire incident and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They responded quickly to a minor call for service, they quickly realized the potential for violence, and they responded in fine fashion to ensure the safety of numerous bystanders within the complex, many of whom were young children. The bottom line here is that our officers prevented what certainly could have escalated into an active shooter situation within the complex which would have jeopardized the safety of many innocent people. Although an investigation is currently underway, my initial review of the situation leads me to believe that the sergeant who discharged his weapon did so well within guidelines, and while demonstrating an incredible amount of restraint. We are extremely lucky that our sergeant was uninjured and quite frankly, Dothard is very lucky that he’s still alive. This incident is yet another example of the difficult and sometimes very dangerous job that our folks do on a daily basis. And it should serve as an example of the great work they are doing out there to ensure the safety of our community.”
At this time, we will not be releasing the name of the sergeant involved in the shooting in order to give him and his family some privacy. As is normal under these circumstances, he has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.