Florida Deputies Shoot And Kill US Airman After Entering Wrong Apartment

Ben Crump and Airman Roger Fortson

In a tragic incident, Florida deputies responding to a disturbance call mistakenly entered the wrong apartment, fatally shooting Senior Airman Roger Fortson, a Black U.S. Air Force officer, who was home alone.

The shooting occurred on May 3 in Fort Walton Beach.

According to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents Fortson’s family, the deputies, believing Fortson was armed, shot him six times as he was armed with a legally owned gun.

The deputies burst into the apartment after Fortson, on a Facetime call with a woman, heard knocking at his door and retrieved his gun out of concern.

Fortson, a member of the Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, died at a hospital shortly after the incident.

The deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Crump stated that crucial for the ongoing investigation to be transparent, and has called for the release of body camera footage to the family and the public.

The circumstances surrounding Fortson’s death raise serious questions, especially considering witness statements suggesting the deputies entered the wrong apartment.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office expressed sadness over the incident and asked for patience as they investigate.

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the local State Attorney’s Office are also conducting investigations into the shooting.

Fortson’s death bears resemblance to other cases where Black individuals were killed by police in their homes due to mistaken addresses or unnecessary use of force.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, known for representing families in such cases, plans to address the media along with Fortson’s family in Fort Walton Beach on Thursday morning.