Trooper Joseph Bullock was killed in cold blood while trying to help a stranded motorist on Interstate 95. The 42-year-old trooper was pulled over at a rest area near Palm City, 45 minutes outside of West Palm Beach when the incident occurred at 10:15 am.
Colonel Gene Spaulding, the agency’s commander, released information about the nightmare and said that a passing officer took down the suspect. The stranded driver killed Bullock— another Riviera Beach district officer— so the shooter then fatally shot the suspect in return. However, officials have not yet revealed the identity of either party involved.
Though officials have not yet commented on why the officer was in the area or how he knew to take down the suspect, Col. Gene Spaulding has confirmed that it did happen.
Bullock, a police officer, stopped to help a motorist he thought was stranded along the interstate highway. He spoke with the suspect for several minutes before the gunfight began. Police are investigating why the murder happened and have not released any information yet. It is unknown if Bullock did anything to make the shooter angry or if it was done without provocation. Regardless, an innocent police officer is dead and the shooter was eventually killed by another cop.
A TV news helicopter from a station in Florida caught the images of tarpaulins over both corpses. Because of the murder, I-95 was shut down in both directions due to public safety concerns. It was reopened at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, less than four hours after it had been closed.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Bullock was not only a State Trooper but also served 19 years in the United States Air Force before retiring and being reassigned to Troop L-Fort Pierce.
The statement read, “Trooper Bullock was fatally wounded today in the line of duty while assisting the public on I-95 in Martin County. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and additional information will be released as it’s available.”
After the tragedy, Terry Rhodes (executive director of the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) and Colonel Gene Spaulding released a joint statement. Bullock’s loss is devastating for the Florida community because he “chose to make selflessly serving and protecting others his life’s work.”
He died while carrying out his duty to protect the people of the United States and Florida.
The officials at the press conference mourning Bullock’s premature death requested that people across Florida and throughout the country keep Bullock in their thoughts.
Patterson-Spaulding stated that Bullock is only the 49th member of the agency’s 80-year history to die in the line of duty.
Trooper Tracy Vicker died in September during a traffic crash. He was the one who came before Bullock.
“People don’t realize when you approach a car, even a disabled vehicle or a car on a traffic stop. You are worried about not only what is inside that car and what danger is waiting for you, but you are also worried about the 80,000-pound tractor-trailers that are barreling down the highway behind you,” Spaulding stated.