Deputy Sheriff Brandon Coates Orange County Sheriff’s Office Florida End of Watch: Wednesday, December 8, 2010


brandon-coatesPatch image: Orange County Sheriff's Office, Florida

Deputy Sheriff Brandon Coates
Orange County Sheriff’s Office

End of Watch: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 27
Tour of Duty: 4 years, 6 months
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Committed suicide

Deputy Brandon Coates was shot and killed while making a traffic stop near the intersection of South Nashville Avenue and 45th Street at around 8:30 pm.
Two suspects who were in the vehicle fled the scene after the shooting. As other deputies searched the area one of the suspects committed suicide. The second suspect remains at large.
Deputy Coates had served with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for 4½ years and was assigned to the Tactical Anti-Crime Unit. He is survived by his wife, who also serves as a deputy with the agency.

Agency Contact Information
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
2500 W. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: (407) 254-7000
Please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orange County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the head and killed Wednesday night during a traffic stop has been identified as Brandon Coates.

A massive number of Orange County sheriff’s deputies swarmed Orange Blossom Trail and Holden Avenue in Orlando, where the shooting occurred around 8:30 p.m.

Coates, a 27-year-old first-class deputy and former U.S. Marine, was shot at least twice during the stop and rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Sheriff Jerry Demings said during an emotional news conference late Wednesday night.

Deputies later located a suspect’s pickup at the nearby Alhambra apartments on South Rio Grande Avenue and found a man dead in a wooded area from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The man was identified as 29-year-old Brandon Lyals. Records show that Lyals had been convicted of several crimes, including burglary, grand theft and trafficking stolen property, over the past 11 years.

A witness told authorities that a second person may have been involved in the shooting, but the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday said it believes Lyals acted alone.

Minutes after the shooting, several viewers in the area called WKMG-TV after seeing the law enforcement response.

"Never in my life have I seen that many cops," said Orren Vacmin of Altamonte Springs. "They’re everywhere. I can’t even get on Interstate 4."

Coates had been with the Sheriff’s Office for more than four years, and he was married to a fellow deputy. They do not have any children.

Demings said he spoke to Coates’ wife about the shooting.

"Well, although she’s a law enforcement officer, it’s tough on her tonight," he said. "What I have shared with her is that this community stands behind her, and that this community stands up to evil and they support our local law enforcement officers. And that she’ll see that demonstrated to her in the coming days."

Coates’ wife was not on duty Wednesday night, so authorities had to bring her to the scene, Demings said.

"My message to the deputies that I talked to tonight to deliver the sad news is that — I said to them, ‘Remember, although we have been weakened tonight, we’re not broken,’" Demings said.

An investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and investigators are urging anyone who witnessed the shooting to call the Sheriff’s Office at 407-254-7000.

Demings on Thursday swore in 13 deputies, making several references to Coates during the ceremony. Demings told the new recruits’ family members that deputies wear their badges over their heart and look out for and stand beside each other.


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