Highlands County Sheriff’s Statement Regarding Deputy Killed in Line of Duty


From Highlands County Sheriff’s Office:

Today’s media statement on the loss of Deputy William Gentry:

It is with great sadness that Sheriff Paul Blackman and the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office family announces that Deputy William J Gentry Jr succumbed to his injuries at 1:10 p.m. today (Monday, May 7) at Lee Memorial Hospital.

Sheriff Blackman and the command staff are currently at the hospital with the family. The heartbreak of our members is devastating, but it is nothing compared to the loss his family has suffered.

Please keep his father, mother and brother in your prayers, as well as all the members of the HCSO and our fellow law enforcement officers around the state.

Deputy Gentry was shot shortly before 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, at a home in Lake Placid. He was airlifted to the hospital, but despite the best efforts of the first responders and the hospital staff, his wounds were not survivable.

In the true spirit of a public servant, Deputy Gentry’s organs will be donated so that some good may come out of this unthinkable tragedy.

Deputy Gentry is just the third deputy we have lost in the line of duty in the 97-year history of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, and the first lost as the result of a criminal act. Inspector James Rodgers and Capt. Robert Hopton Jr., whose names are memorialized on the rock in front of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office headquarters, were lost in a plane crash on July 10, 1995. Sadly, we will now have another name to add to that monument.

We will provide information about the services for Deputy Gentry as soon as we have them available.

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