Polk County deputy shoots, kills woman attacking him with shovel

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a deputy shot and killed a woman he says was attacking him with a shovel. 

It happened on Thursday around 3:45 p.m. in Wahneta, in unincorporated Polk County.

According to PCSO, deputies were called to the area because a suspicious woman was walking in and out of moving traffic on Rifle Range Road near Noles Lane. 

Sergeant Sean Speakman said the woman was clearly agitated and holding a shovel when he saw her just south of Redemption Baptist Church on the west side of Rifle Range Road and tried to speak with her. 

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Speakman said as he was talking to her she raised the shovel, pointed and him and began moving toward him. He said he told her several times to stop and put the shovel down and began backing away.  

According to PCSO, the woman did not put the shovel down, continued walking toward Speakman and threatening him with the shovel.

Speakman fired four times and shot the woman. He radioed that shots had been fired and began life-saving measures, including CPR, according to PCSO.  

The woman was taken to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead. 

Speakman will be on administrative leave with pay during the initial phase of the investigation, per agency protocol.  

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