An Okaloosa County, Florida, deputy sheriff who was also a radio amateur died of gunshot wounds after serving a domestic violence restraining order at an attorney’s office in Shalimar, where he lived. William J. “Bill” Myers, KK4KF, was 64.
NorthEscambia.com reported on September 23, “Deputy Myers was walking outside when he was shot multiple times in the back, including a gunshot wound to the rear of his head.” An Associated Press account said the shooter, identified as Joel Dixon Smith, 33, was supposed be turning over any firearms in his possession, but apparently shot Myers with “a concealed weapon.”
According to the news account, Myers was a law enforcement veteran who had rejoined the Sheriff’s Office in Okaloosa County to save money to take his granddaughter and family to Disney World. On its “Officer Down Memorial Page,” the Sheriff’s Office said, “Deputy Myers had served with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office for a total of 26 years. He had retired from the agency after serving 25 years and then returned as a part-time deputy in January 2015 to assist with serving civil papers.”
The shooter was later shot by authorities after barricading himself in a motel room, and he later died.
Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley called Myers “a treasured part of this agency’s family since 1989” who had “served this community with distinction for decades.” Myers also had worked as a US Postal Service rural carrier.
A ham since 1986, Myers was a US Air Force retiree and former air traffic controller. He enjoyed operating CW and was a member of the FISTS CW Club and in recent years often ran QRP. One of his sons is also a ham. — Thanks to Jay Camac, N4OX