Ga. Deputy in Shooting Escapes Injury by the Leg—Not the Seat—of His Pants

April 24, 2024
A bullet passed through the pants of a Cook County sheriff's deputy without drawing blood when a fugitive opened fire after trying to drive off a tow truck without paying for the tow.

It’s contradictory to say a deputy got lucky while being shot, but such was the case when a Florida fugitive pulled a gun during a dispute in south Georgia, investigators say.

Call it a miracle or pure chance, but a bullet literally passed through a deputy’s trousers without drawing blood, according an April 22 news release.

Details of the “terrifying encounter” were released by the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, where 29-year-old Rafael Rodriguez Morey is wanted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, officials said.

“Morey’s vehicle broke down on I-75 in Cook County, Georgia. He and the car were both towed to a nearby gas station, where he then attempted to drive it off the tow truck after refusing to pay for the tow,” Citrus County officials said.

“When deputies tried to intervene, Morey pulled out a handgun and shot at one of the deputies on scene. Thankfully, the bullet went through the deputy’s pants leg, not striking any part of his body.”

Details of how the deputy reacted were not released.

The shooting happened around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, April 18, at a Circle K in Adel, where the tow truck attendant discovered the car was out of gas and had a dead battery, according to a news release published by the Adel News Tribune. Adel is about a 200-mile drive south from Atlanta.

“Law enforcement used a window punch to attempt to gain access to the vehicle and upon successfully gaining entry Morey produced a handgun and fired,” the news outlet reported.

“He was taken into custody after a brief struggle and .... and charged initially with multiple counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement officers,” the news outlet reported.

Morey’s warrant in Florida will be handled after the charges in Georgia are addressed, officials said.

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