PCSO Conducting an Investigation of a Deputy-Involved Shooting Following a Domestic Disturbance
Deputies were dispatched to a residence at 830 Hyland Avenue in Winter Haven at 10:34 P.M. Friday night, October 4, 2019, after a 911 caller reported that the man, 53-year-old James Busch, had shot himself in the head.
Busch’s ex-girlfriend reported that she had gone to Busch’s home to retrieve her dog and an argument began. She said that Busch yelled, “You’re not going anywhere,” and he locked the gate. He then beat her and put a gun to her chin, threatening to kill her.
The ex-girlfriend said that Busch paced around while drinking whiskey and asked why she didn’t love him. She feared that he was going to shoot her and kill himself.
She called Busch’s brother on the phone, and after Busch spoke with his brother, he handed the phone back to the victim and Busch shot himself under the chin causing massive injuries.
When deputies arrived at the front door of the house they saw Busch sitting on a recliner, still conscious, and still holding a 357 magnum revolver.
Busch was given numerous commands by the deputies to drop the handgun, but refused. Using both hands, Busch began to raise the gun up from his lap while cocking the hammer back.
Fearing for the safety of the deputies at the scene, one deputy shot Busch twice, intentionally striking him once in the right arm, and once in the left hand, he then dropped the gun. Then deputies began life-saving measures until EMS arrived and transported him to a local hospital. The life-threatening injury was caused when Busch shot himself in the head, not from the shots in the arm.
Busch is currently in extremely critical condition at a local hospital. The ex-girlfriend was uninjured but was also transported to the hospital for an anxiety attack.
The case is still under investigation. Should James Busch survive his self-inflicted gunshot wound, he will face multiple felony charges.
It is unfortunate that James Busch chose to gravely injure himself and threaten to kill his ex-girlfriend. I am pleased that our deputies who put themselves at extreme risk to render aid to Mr. Busch were not injured.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
Standard protocol for all deputy-involved shootings will include three independent investigations. PCSO homicide unit will conduct an investigation.
Administrative Investigations will conduct an administrative inquiry. The State Attorney’s Office will conduct a separate investigation. Per agency protocol the members involved will be on administrative leave with pay during the initial phase of the investigation.