Deputy Sheriff Christopher Smith
Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
End of Watch: Saturday, November 22, 2014
Tour of Duty: 5 years, 11 months
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: November 22, 2014
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Shot and killed
Agency Contact Information
Sheriff Larry Campbell
Leon County Sheriff’s Office
2825 Municipal Way
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Phone: (850) 922-3300
Deputy Sheriff Christopher Smith was shot from ambush when he responded to reports of a house fire at the end of Caracus Court. Deputy Smith was among the first to arrive on scene at approximately 10:22 a.m and was immediately shot and killed by the subject.
The subject then took Deputy Smith’s firearm and continued to fire at other responders, including members of the Tallahassee Fire Department and Tallahassee Police Department. One other sheriff’s deputy was shot and wounded before the subject was shot and killed by an off-duty Tallahassee police officer who had responded to the sound of gunfire.
It is believed that the subject intentionally set the house fire with the intention to kill as many first responders as possible.
Deputy Sheriff Christopher Smith has previously served as a dispatcher and corrections officer. He served with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office for almost six years. Deputy Smith is survived by his wife and children.
On November 22nd, 2014, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office lost a respected member of its family. Deputy Chris Smith was killed in the line of duty while responding to a house fire where he was ambushed by an armed suspect shortly after arriving on scene. Our community and families are in mourning for this loss.
Deputy Christopher L. Smith was 47 years old. He was a loving Christian man who loved his wife and his children most of all. Deputy Smith began his law enforcement career as a Dispatcher with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in 1989. From 1991 through January 2009, Deputy Smith served as a Correctional Officer and then a Deputy Sheriff with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. He was hired as a Deputy Sheriff by Sheriff Campbell January 20, 2009 and was assigned to Uniform Patrol Bureau where he served until his death.
Deputy Smith will be greatly missed by his co-workers and all of the LCSO family.
A man known to law enforcement for his anti-government views, set a house fire and waited for first responders to arrive with the intend of killing as many of them as he could.
Curtis Wade Holley, 53, engaged law enforcement in a 12-minute mid-morning gun battle in the middle of Caracas Court before he was finally killed by a Tallahassee police officer.
Leon County Sheriff’s Office deputies Christopher L Smith and Colin Wulfekuhl arrived first at the scene of the fire in the northwest Tallahassee neighborhood.
Smith, a 47-year-old married father of two, was shot and killed immediately. Wulfekuhl was also shot, but was saved by his bullet-proof vest.
Details of what occurred Saturday morning were released at an emotional news conference at LCSO headquarters. Fighting backs tears, Lt. James McQuaig, LCSO spokesman, delivered the information to reporters.
McQuaig said Smith was "a loving Christian man who loved his wife and his children most of all."
Holley was armed with a .40 caliber handgun. McQuaig said there is evidence that Holley planned the attack and fire to kill as many first responders as possible.
"We have information that we have received that this person was anti-government, was anti-establishment and had discussed at some point in time planning to harm law enforcement," McQuaig said.
McQuaig said Smith and Wulfekuhl were called to a home at 3722 Caracus Court at 10:15 a.m. A neighbor reported the fire next door to her home. The deputies arrived simultaneously in separate vehicles.
"Almost immediately, the deputies are under attack from an armed suspect," McQuaig said.
At 10:24 a.m., the words "officer down" were heard for the first time. By this time Smith had been shot multiple times. A minute later deputies said they were actively engaged in a gun battle.
A minute later, Tallahassee Police Department officers Mark Lewis and Scott Angulo arrive on the scene. Lewis tried to help Smith and was immediately fired upon.
At 10:32 a.m., Holley began shooting at members of the Tallahassee Fire Department. Wulfekuhl kept Holley engaged exchanging gunfire and told firefighters to evacuate.
Two minutes later, at 10:34 a.m., Holley was shot down by Angulo.
Officials said Holley acted alone and no one was found in the burned-down house.
The case is under investigation. It will be presented to a Leon County grand jury at the end of the investigation, said Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell.