Search
Close this search box.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office terminates deputy involved in fatal shooting of Airman Roger Fortson

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) has terminated Deputy Eddie Duran following an administrative internal affairs investigation into the fatal shooting of Roger Fortson on May 3. According to OCSO’s […]

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) has terminated Deputy Eddie Duran following an administrative internal affairs investigation into the fatal shooting of Roger Fortson on May 3.

  • The investigation determined that the deputy’s use of deadly force was not objectively reasonable and violated agency policy.

According to OCSO’s General Order 04.01Response to Resistance, deputies are authorized to use only the amount of force that is objectively reasonable to perform their duties. The policy states that deadly force shall only be used when the officer reasonably believes it is necessary to defend human life or prevent imminent danger of serious physical injury.

The investigation found that the former deputy was dispatched to an in-progress physical disturbance at an apartment complex located at 319 Racetrack Road NW, specifically Unit 1401.

  • Upon arrival, the former deputy met with an apartment complex employee who confirmed the location of the disturbance.
Bodycam showing Airman Roger Fortson opening the door to his apartment in Fort Walton Beach (OSCO)

The former deputy’s body-worn camera recorded his actions as he knocked on the door of Unit 1401 three times and announced “Sheriff’s Office” twice within approximately 40 seconds. When Mr. Fortson opened the door, the former deputy stated he saw Mr. Fortson holding a firearm in his right hand, pointed at the ground.

  • The investigation concluded that Mr. Fortson did not make any hostile, attacking movements, and therefore, the former deputy’s use of deadly force was not objectively reasonable under OSCO’s policy.

“This tragic incident should have never occurred,” said Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden. “The objective facts do not support the use of deadly force as an appropriate response to Mr. Fortson’s actions. Mr. Fortson did not commit any crime. By all accounts, he was an exceptional airman and individual.”

The administrative investigation is separate from the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Both investigations are required under Florida law after a fatal deputy-involved shooting.

Sheriff Aden emphasized the OCSO’s commitment to ensuring fair and equal administration of the law, safeguarding civil liberties, and preserving public safety. He thanked the dedicated team for their thorough review of the facts and expressed condolences to Mr. Fortson’s family.

The full administrative internal affairs investigation report is available on the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office website.

Read Full Report

Join the conversation...

Continue reading 👇

Community Comments

“You are saying that they are plans in the future for another high school well my question would why are you wanting for. You see that the schools are are...”
Respond
“Is the child still living? Great job saving this baby.”
Respond
“Just around the corner in Mossy Head!”
Respond
“Called the number listed 850 882 6258 which asks for a mailbox number. Not helpful. Looking for more information on hiring event scheduled for July 24 & July 25”
Respond
“The baby floated from their boat about 100 ft down to my boat, where family members seen bathing suit and the wife's sent alex over to get it. When he...”
Respond
“Not a good idea, it will block traffic both at entry and exit. There is also too much water drainage that would have nowhere to go and cause flooding. Just...”
Respond
“What is an 11 month old doing in the water by itself?”
Respond
“Congratulations to you, Dr. Kelley!”
Respond
“Agreed. We made several phone calls to get a picture of Mr. Hinely. We were not provided one.”
Respond
“It would have been nice to see a photo of Mr. Hinely”
Respond