Watch: Florida deputies survive ambush during traffic stop


BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Two Florida deputies credit their training with surviving an violent ambush during a traffic stop in late August.

Brevard County deputies Brian Potters and Tyler Thoman had pulled over a car that had three adults and a 2-month-old baby inside. Potters was talking to an adult who was sitting in the back seat, and said he’d watch the infant while that adult got out to speak with Thoman.

When the adult got out, he had a gun and began firing.

Potters had just finished telling the shooter that he, too, had kids, when the shooting began.

“We all always call routine traffic stops routine, but obviously, that’s not the case,” Potters said on “Dan Abrams Live” on Monday. “You always try to make small talk with folks, try to get the their opinion on things and what’s going on right there at that point in time, and it just went south real fast.”

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Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said there were 61 shots fired in the next minute. Potters was hit in the leg, but so was the gunman. Thoman, Potters and the shooter then circled a sheriff’s office vehicle. The attacker hit Potters with the butt of his firearm.

Potters and the shooter wrestled each other to the ground, when Thoman opened fire, killing the shooter.

“I heard Deputy Potters respond verbally to the firearm, which got my attention,” Thoman said. “And at that point, we reverted to our training and that was just to kind of get off the axe and get to cover — respond to the threat.”

Ivey called the shooter a “career criminal” and said he’d faced 40 charges over the years, including convictions on guns and drug charges.

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Ivey presented the dashcam footage in a YouTube video. He said he was fine with the number of shots the deputies took at the shooter because “evil can never be dead enough.”

Abrams, whose show premiered Monday on NewsNation Now, said he will regularly highlight police work and some of the incredible — and dangerous — situations officers deal with every day.

Watch “Dan Abrams Live” weeknights at 8/7c on NewsNation.

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