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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Pine Hills, Florida 05/05/2004

Trapped in a garage by two suspects, Deputy Jennifer Fulford relied on her training to win a pitched gun battle.

January 01, 2006  |  by - Also by this author

Rain of Bullets

Dzibinski popped out, firing. Fulford's well-placed volley of shots zeroed in on his exposed upper torso before running dry. Reloading, she immediately encountered a second barrage from Jenkins at the rear of the van. One of Jenkins' rounds slammed into Fulford's dominant arm, but not before she fired a round that caught him center mass and put him down and out of the fight.

Her right arm was no longer functional. Fulford transitioned her weapon to her left hand and pivoted in the direction of where she had last seen the second suspect.

Dzibinski leaned out from the corner of the van and again fired.

John Dzibinski fired on Dep. Fulford from an entrenched position inside the garage, hitting the deputy with 10 rounds, before she ended the 50-second gunfight.

Fulford resumed firing. She was at once aware of exactly where she was from an almost out-of-body perspective. The claustrophobic confines of the garage...the Jack in the box-like attacks and retreats of the suspects...the rain of bullets...her desperate spins to counter their attacks...the kaleidoscope of silhouettes, shadows, and the cacophony of gunshots and breaking glass had combined in such a manner that her mind seemed to be splitting in different directions, at once taking her outside herself even as it centered her focus.

Dzibinski was making the most of his cover. But Fulford was dialed in. A round caught Dzibinski in the head, and he fell back out of view.

Blood streamed down Fulford's wounded right arm, pooling onto the floor. Her emotions turned on themselves, and the room began a slow spin. Fulford could feel herself starting to black out.

Stay awake. He might come back, and there's still a third suspect unaccounted for.

Tell Them Thanks

Suddenly, Fulford could hear Dep. Curry shouting her name and asking if she was OK. Fulford shook her head "No." Curry and Gainor hurried into the garage and carried her out to the street.

Curry called for the Fire Department to come in and assist, but the scene was not secure and they refused. Her fellow deputies carried Fulford to the end of the block where the Fire Department took over.

Fulford was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center. At the hospital, Fulford grabbed the arm of Sheriff Kevin Beary.

"Tell the range instructors they were right," she told Beary. "And tell them thanks. Everything they taught me about tactics and survival mindset came to me when I most needed it."

Comments (1)

Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Charles Allen @ 6/15/2013 1:37 AM

A courageous officer that thinks about the welfare of others and then goes to work; this is what a hero is made of! I am sure Detective Fulford is still making decisions that actually improve other peoples lives. Thank you hero for stepping out in faith and prevailing.

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