Highland County Deputy William Gentry Critical after Responding to Neighbour Dispute in Florida Shooting

Update: The officer sustained injuries to the head, and is still in critical condition at the Lee Memorial Hospital. Ables who was convicted before is now charged with, attempted first-degree murder without premeditation, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, resisting an officer with violence, tampering with evidence and violation of probation.

Joseph Edward Ables is charged with the following:

Joseph Edward Ables

Charges on Joseph Edward Ables (Photo: Highlandssheriff.org)

On Sunday (May 6), Highland County Deputy William Gentry was shot while responding to a neighbor dispute call in Lake Placid, Florida. Here is what you need to know about the case.

The Highland County Sheriff’s Office took to their official Facebook page to announce that William Gentry was shot in Lake Placid.

On May 6, between 7:45 and 7:50 p.m., 40-year-old Deputy William Gentry and a deputy in training responded to a neighbor dispute call. They arrived at a house located in the 200 block of Baltimore Way to talk to Joseph Edward Ables, who is suspected of shooting his neighbor’s 15-year-old cat, Mr. Brown.

In the comment section of the Facebook post, many offered their thoughts and prayers for the officer’s recovery. 

The deputy in training was with the cat’s owner while Gentry went to Ables’ house at 234 Baltimore Way. Ables then reportedly opened fire, critically injuring Gentry. At around 7:56 p.m., a call was made informing officials that a deputy was shot. 69-year-old Ables was soon arrested and taken to the Highlands County Jail. Gentry was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital.

Gentry reportedly has an injury to his head, but there is no word at this time as to how many times he was shot. 

Wiliam Gentry Shot in Florida

Photo: Wiliam Gentry/Highlandssheriff

Authorities revealed that Ables is a convicted felon who has a history of violence towards law enforcement. While he is detained, officials are working to learn more about the shooting.

The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page also mentioned a media staging area located at the intersection of Boston Way and Kipling Avenue in Lake Placid, where they held a press conference. 

At this time, the investigation is ongoing, and officials have asked anyone who possibly has information about the shooting to email them at [email protected] ,or call 863-402-7250.

Though some claim that Gentry did not survive the shooting, details about his condition, other than that is critical, was not disclosed. 


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