Florida deputy killed in crash was one shift away from retirement

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida deputy killed Monday night was one shift away from retirement.

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Travis Zachary Gabriel Garrett, 28, was fleeing authorities when he crossed two lanes of traffic and intentionally rammed Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Master Cpl. Brian LaVigne’s marked patrol vehicle, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Lavigne, 54, was taken to a hospital where he died of his injuries.

Garrett was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, two counts of resisting arrest with violence, felony criminal mischief and aggravated fleeing to elude, the Times reported. Garrett was taken to a hospital after the crash. As of Tuesday, there has been no update on his condition.

Deputies were called to Garrett’s apartment around 3:45 p.m. after he had been throwing clothes and furniture from his balcony. Deputies talked to Garrett through the door and left after confirming no crime had been committed, according to the Times.

Deputies were called back about an hour later for a report that Garrett was nude and throwing food at neighbors. Investigators said Garrett attacked two deputies, who unsuccessfully tried to use a Taser on him. Garrett ran into a car, rammed a gate at the apartment and fled. He crossed two lanes of traffic and intentionally hit LaVigne’s marked patrol vehicle in his attempted escape.

“He had never hit the brakes,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “There were no skid marks. He was intentionally running that car into the corporal’s car.”

Garrett had no previous criminal history in Hillsborough County, the Times reported. He did have an unprocessed aggravated assault charge from Georgia and in 2017 was Baker Acted in Pasco County.

LaVigne is survived by his wife and two children.

“This is one of the most difficult times we have faced as a Sheriff’s Office, losing one of our family members to such a senseless act of violence,” Chronister said in a statement. “We continue to mourn this loss with both the LaVigne family, our Sheriff’s Office family, and our community. Our focus remains intent on seeking justice for the murder of Master Corporal LaVigne, and celebrating an individual who devoted his life to public service.”


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