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Police make arrest in connection with death of beloved local food truck owner

A beloved local food truck owner was fatally wounded behind the Niceville CVS pharmacy Friday night, according to the Niceville Police Department. Around 7:58 PM on February 9th, Niceville police […]

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A beloved local food truck owner was fatally wounded behind the Niceville CVS pharmacy Friday night, according to the Niceville Police Department.

Around 7:58 PM on February 9th, Niceville police received multiple 911 calls reporting a possible gunshot victim in a truck parked behind the CVS pharmacy.

Once officers arrived on scene, they observed a truck with 42-year-old Michael Ledford inside who was badly injured. The injury was not a gunshot wound, however, but “possibly caused by a sharp-edged weapon.” Officers immediately administered first aid while awaiting EMS.

  • Ledford was transported by ambulance to Fort Walton-Destin Hospital where he later died from his injuries, according to the police statement.

While processing the crime scene, Niceville police were contacted by the mother of 24-year-old Dylan Deschaine, who stated her son had just told her he had “possibly hurt someone.” After several hours of negotiation with police, Deschaine peacefully surrendered after exiting a bathroom at the Cumberland Farms gas station in Niceville where he had been hiding.

Deschaine had injuries on his hands and was transported to Fort Walton-Destin Hospital by police before being remanded into custody at the Okaloosa County Jail. According to the Niceville PD statement, Deschaine faces additional pending charges as the investigation continues.

The State Attorney’s Office is working with Niceville PD on the open investigation. Several other agencies assisted Niceville police in the incident Friday night, including the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, FDLE agents, the North Adams Police Department in Massachusetts, the Medical Examiner’s Office and staff at Fort Walton-Destin Hospital.

The police statement asked that the privacy of the victim’s family be respected at this difficult time. Anyone with additional information related to the case should contact Detective Sergeant Horace Paine Jr. at (850) 420-4731 or


Ledford was just weeks shy of the grand opening of his new restaurant in Niceville. He was a husband and father to three children. If you would like to help out the Ledford Family during this difficult time, here’s how you can.

5 Responses

  1. To the mother that reported her son, thank you mama. That was undoubtedly the hardest thing you’ve had to do. I’m right there with you. I understand. Much love to you and your son. I hope he makes a change in his life.

  2. Why? Such a senseless act. Thank you mom for turning him in. This family’s life will be changed forever.

  3. He was s great man he was my manager at bamboo ” sushi and hibachi” in niceville fl… he treated everyone like family never allowed disrespect…. always talk about his family he loved his kids… this is so sad… my condolences to his family he will be greatly missed

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Community Comments

“Agreed…that was our favorite spot for locals to go…under the Marler bridge…to swim and watch the boat traffic. Was beautiful!”
“I have heard this before but without the details. Thanks.”
“That was a good story it brought back a lot of good memories. I lived there about 35 years ago met some good people ate a lot of good food...”
“Please open our bridge under neath the Destin bridge please we grew up here only for the locals this is crazy honestly the locals really have Nowhere they can go...”
“We must do whatever it takes to remove the current sheriff. He is a failed leader, no doubt about it nothing but an excuse maker, totally incompetent in over his...”
“...and food for enjoyment! Big smile.”
“can okaloosa county residents can get a year pass for henderson beach park?”
“Congratulations on giving back to your community. This is an awesome need when young people are returning to school. Blessings over blessings to you this upcoming season.”
“I’m not at all a sociallist or liberal. I just want safety for myself and others. Ron Desantis pledged money for this. I was refrencing Europe in regards to e-bike...”