Just before 10:30 a.m. on February 5, Earl Edward Clauge, Jr., 51, an employee of Timberland Ford in Perry, FL, crashed a vehicle into the front of the dealership, exited the vehicle, and began shooting.
Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Lundy was in the dealership having his car serviced and immediately responded. Gunfire was exchanged and Clauge, Jr. was killed. Two civilians were shot and are recovering at local hospitals while three additional victims suffered minor injuries.
FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plesinger said: “The shooter has been confirmed as 51-year-old Earl Edward Clague, Jr. We know that he’s from Taylor County, and he was a current employee of the dealership. We don’t have a motive yet. That’s what the investigation will show… Two other employees were shot as well. They both are in local hospitals. We do believe they will survive, and we think they’re going to be okay. We’re not releasing their identities at this time… [Clague] used a semi-automatic shotgun. We aren’t releasing any further details about the ammunition at this time. It is still a very active investigation… [Lundy] was remarkable. He did everything he should have done. He saved a lot of lives today.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tallahassee Regional Operations Center, Perry Police Department and Taylor County Sheriff’s Office are investigating, with assistance from the FBI, a shooting in which a Taylor County sheriff’s deputy exchanged gunfire with a suspect.
10:28:31 Deputy Lundy radioed shots were fired.
10:29:17 Deputy Lundy announced he had been shot.
10:29:24 In less than one minute after Deputy Lundy’s announcement of shots fired, officers arrived on scene.
11:10 Deputy Lundy went into surgery.
4:00 p.m. Deputy Lundy was in stable, but critical condition.
“The selfless actions of this deputy saved many lives today,” said Taylor County Sheriff L.E. “Bummy” Williams. “The safety of the citizens of Taylor County is our main concern, and Deputy Lundy was willing to risk his own life today to save others. I am proud of his bravery and his heroism is to be commended. Deputy Lundy, his family and the victims are in my prayers.”
Grief counselors and victims’ advocates will be available to speak to those impacted at the local Taylor County Middle School.