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Flags ordered at half-staff for Highlands County deputy

Gov. Rick Scott has ordered flags at half-staff Tuesday to honor the Highlands County sheriff’s deputy killed on duty May 7.

Deputy William J. Gentry Jr., 40, had served with the the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office for nine years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Gentry was shot and killed “while responding to an animal abuse call  … in which a homeowner’s cat had been fatally shot with a pellet gun,” the page said.

Gentry “and a deputy he was training responded to the victim’s home,” it said. “During the investigation, Gentry went to the suspect’s home, a convicted felon who lived next door, to make contact with him. As he stood at the front door the suspect opened fire on him, shooting him in the head.

“The 69-year-old subject was taken into custody at the scene and charged with numerous counts. Gentry was flown to Lee Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his wound the following day.”

Scott directed the U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff at the Highlands County Courthouse in Sebring, Sebring City Hall, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office in Sebring, and the Capitol in Tallahassee from sunrise to sunset.

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