Bodycam captures deputy confront, fatally shoot suspect while dangling from car door

A Florida deputy trying to apprehend a suspect hung onto his moving car while using a taser before shooting him – a measure that ultimately proved fatal.

The incident, which was captured on body camera footage, went down in Hudson on Saturday around 5:30 p.m., the Pasco Sheriff’s Office shared on Facebook. A deputy recognized the suspect, 40-year-old Paul Smith, at a gas station before approaching his car and asking him several times to step out. Smith was wanted for domestic battery by strangulation

The video shows Smith quickly sitting down in the car’s driver seat after he realized the deputy was speaking to him, then asking, “What’s the matter? What’s going on? What’s the problem?” before putting keys in the car’s ignition.

“Get out of the car now!” the deputy shouted while attempting to stop Smith from fleeing.

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Paul Smith, 40, was wanted for domestic battery by strangulation when he was approached by the deputy on March 16, 2024.   (Pasco Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

“Smith started to speed and drive recklessly away with the deputy hanging from the open door of the car,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post that accompanied the video.

The car’s horn could be heard blaring in the bodycam video, and the vehicle appeared to be in motion. The deputy pulled out a taser and held it to Smith’s back and neck, but Smith did not stop.

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The deputy tased Paul Smith while repeatedly demanding he get out of the car.  (Pasco Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

When the taser deployment did not work, the deputy warned Smith he would shoot him if he did not stop the car.

“Oh, my God. Get out. Please get out. No, no, no, no,” Smith can be heard telling the deputy.

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The Pasco Sheriff’s Office deputy warned the suspect he would be shot if he did not comply with commands.  (Pasco Sheriff’s Office/Facebook)

“Smith continued to drive recklessly, ignoring the additional commands, and the deputy then shot Smith,” PSO said.

Following the shooting, the deputy was able to stop the vehicle and render aid to Smith, the sheriff’s office said. However, Smith died as a result of his injury.

Smith had previously been arrested in Pasco County for battery and drug charges, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Smith was convicted in 2019 of fleeing law enforcement by car, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and hit-and-run. He served three years in state prison, according to the newspaper.

Smith was referred to as “having a significant criminal history of violence” by PSO.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the officer-involved shooting, as is standard protocol.

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