The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has released dashcam footage of an assault on two of its officers on August 30. Two deputies Brian Potters and Tyler Thoman were attacked by career criminal Paris Wilder during a routine traffic stop off of I-95 in Melbourne, Florida. The assault ended with Potters suffering severely.
Wilder was killed in a shootout with Thoman.
The incident started as what seemed like a routine traffic stop of a car that had three adults and an infant inside.
Who was Paris Wilder?
Paris Wilder was a native of Cocoa, Florida who has an extensive criminal record with 40 previous arrests and 23 felony charges for crimes including Robbery with a Firearm, Aggravated Assault with a Weapon, multiple narcotics offenses, Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, and Attempted First Degree Felony Murder.
At the time of the August 30 incident, he was out on bond for two felony drug charges, police say.
Wilder also had two active felony warrants against his name that day.
How old was Paris Wilder?
Paris Wilder was 38 years old at the time of death.
Paris Wilder Cocoa, Florida
Voter records list Wilder as a Black non-Hispanic male registered to vote in Brevard County. The records note he has no known political party affiliation. Little else is known about Wilder, beyond his rap sheet.
Records show he has been arrested since 2002, with six charges dismissed and a further 17 dropped.
In Brevard County alone, he was convicted of 12 charges, a record that has left Ivey furious.
“Why is a thug with this kind of criminal history even given a bond where he can be out on our streets to harm someone else?” he asked in the video.
As deputies are making small talk with two of the passengers, they ask a third to exit the vehicle. He suddenly jumps out of the back seat with a rifle and opens fire repeatedly, as they scramble for cover and attempt to return fire.
⚠️ GRAPHIC WARNING
This dashcam footage of deputies getting ambushed during a traffic stop in Florida is one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen and there was a 2-month-old baby in the car the whole time. Both officers survived.pic.twitter.com/NkwjXxdusc
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) September 11, 2021
One deputy was shot in the leg.
Florida Deputies Ambushed
Wilder then goes from behind the vehicles to approach Potters from the back. He then hits the officer on his head with his AR-15 multiple times, while Thoman takes cover behind the second police car.
Thoman then approaches Wilder from behind and fires multiple shots, while he is down.
The whole incident just lasts a few minutes, ending with Wilder being killed on the spot.
Ivey noted that he suffered “tissue damage, a concussion, and fractures”, while Thoman was not injured. Potters was rushed to a local hospital, where his injuries were deemed to be not life-threatening.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard protocol. ”
What We Know So Far
It’s not clear if Wilder had any family.
During the traffic stop, he was in the car with a woman, a two-month-old baby, and a dog.
Another man was also seen at the spot and ran away after Wilder opened fire.
It is unclear how they are related to Wilder at the moment, but Ivey noted:
“Neither of these occupants had anything to do with the ambush.” He also added that none of them, including the child, were injured in the firefight, despite being “directly in the line of fire”.