The sheriff’s office on Tuesday released the name of the man who was shot dead while attacking a Lee County deputy on I-75 Monday morning.
Deputies also confirmed a Good Samaritan aided Deputy Dean Bardes after he was attacked by 53-year-old Edward Strother.
According to the press release, Bardes was helping Florida Highway Patrol with an unrelated accident on I-75 around 9:30 a.m. Then a vehicle driven by Strother drove through the crash scene and narrowly missed hitting Bardes. Believing this was an intentional act, Bardes pursued the vehicle down I-75.
The pursuit ended on the southbound ramp of I-75 at Corkscrew Road. That’s when authorities said Strother got out of his vehicle and advanced on Bardes as he exited his patrol car.
LCSO said Strother violently attacked Bardes and “viciously slammed the deputy to the ground.” Once on the ground, Strother pinned the deputy on his back and continued attacking Bardes. The deputy attempt to break free but was also struggling to keep his weapon away from his attacker.
That’s when the sheriff’s office said the Good Samaritan came forward to help Bardes. The Good Samaritan, who wished to remain anonymous, ordered Strother off the deputy but those commands were ignored. The Good Samaritan fired their weapon to end the attack.
Strother had an active warrant for failing to appear on a battery charge, but his motive for attempting to kill Deputy Bardes—twice—is unknown.