When a Florida state trooper noticed a stranded motorist along Interstate 95, he pulled over to help the person in distress. Although 42-year-old Trooper Joseph Bullock was simply trying to help the motorist at the rest area, the person pulled out a gun and killed Bullock in cold blood. The murder occurred at 10:15 am about 45-minutes outside of West Palm Beach near Palm City.
Colonel Gene Spaulding, the agency’s commander, released the details of the nightmare and said that the suspect was taken down by a passing officer. Because the stranded driver killed Bullock, another officer, who was from the Riviera Beach district, fatally shot the suspect, whose identity has yet to be published.
Officials have not said why the officer was in the area and how the cop knew to take down the suspect. Nevertheless, Col. Gene Spaulding said that it was done.
Bullock pulled over his cruiser to help the motorist, who he believed was stranded along the interstate highway. Bullock had spent several minutes with the suspect before the gunfight began. Police have launched an investigation into the shooting and have not said why the murder was committed. It is unclear if Bullock did anything to antagonize the shooter or if it was done in cold blood. Nevertheless, a police officer is dead, and the suspect was taken down afterward by another cop.
A news chopper from a Florida station caught footage of tarps covering both bodies. Because of the homicide, Interstate 95 was closed in both directions. It was reopened hours later on Wednesday night.
The Florida Highway Patrol released a statement claiming that Bullock was not only a State Trooper but also a United States Air Force veteran. He served about 19 years with the military before he retired and was reassigned to Troop L-Fort Pierce.
The statement said, “Trooper Bullock was fatally wounded today in the line of duty while assisting the public on I-95 in Martin County. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and additional information will be released as it’s available.”
The executive director of the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Terry Rhodes, stood beside Colonel Gene Spaulding to release a joint statement in the wake of the tragedy. Bullock’s loss is a devastating blow for the Florida community because he “chose to make selflessly serving and protecting others his life’s work.”
He died in the line of duty, fulfilling his personal mission to protect and serve the people of the United States and Florida.
Officials at the public announcement of Bullock’s untimely death asked the people of Florida – and across the nation – to keep Bullock in their prayers.
Spaulding said that Bullock is only the 49th Trooper to die in the line of duty in the 80 years of the agency’s history.
Trooper Tracy Vicker was the one who came before Bullock when dying in September during a traffic crash.
“People don’t realize when you approach a car, even a disabled vehicle or a car on a traffic stop. You are worried about not only what is inside that car and what danger is waiting for you, but you are also worried about the 80,000-pound tractor-trailers that are barreling down the highway behind you,” Spaulding said.