LATEST: Deputy involved in shooting claims self-defense, sheriff says


A Martin County Sheriff’s Office deputy who fatally shot an Indiantown man spoke with the State Attorney’s Office last week about what happened, but what he said has yet to be released to the public.

Sheriff William Snyder spoke Monday afternoon, saying Deputy John Welliever gave his side of the story to the State Attorney’s Office on Friday about what led to the fatal shooting of 47-year-old Jerry Richardson, but that he could not repeat what was said because it would be “improper and detrimental to the investigation.”

“I wish I could reveal everything. I think that if I was able to, it would shed a lot of light,” Snyder said. “But I cannot do that.”

On Oct. 27, Richardson was fatally shot five times by Welliever at 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Charleston Street. Investigators said Richardson had a machete strapped to his wrist.

Snyder said the one thing he can relay from the statement —which he said was more than an hour long — is that Welliever was acting in self-defense and that the evidence from the scene appears to confirm that. The sheriff did not say what that evidence was.

The case will be presented to a grand jury to decide if Welliever will face criminal charges in Richardson’s death.

The sheriff’s office said Welliever usually works in the courthouse as security, but had volunteered for road patrol that day. He has been a deputy since 2003. The sheriff said Welliever will be able to return to work before the grand jury’s decision.

On Monday, Snyder said to the best of the department’s knowledge, Richardson and Welliever did not have any previous contact.



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