Body of Tampa Deputy Killed Just Before Retirement Escorted From Hospital

An officer with the Hillsborough County Sheriff was killed in the line of duty in Tampa, Florida, on January 11, reportedly intentionally crashed into by a man driving at high speeds in an effort to evade deputies.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the incident leading to Master Corporal Brian LaVigne’s death began when deputies responded to calls regarding a “male … nude and acting erratically.” After officers attempted to speak to the man, identified as Travis Zachary Gabriel Garrett, Garrett became “combative and struck one of the responding deputies,” with the other deputy attempting multiple times to subdue Garrett with a Taser.

After fleeing in his car, Garrett reportedly “intentionally rammed into Master Corporal Brian LaVigne at a high rate of speed.” LaVigne had been responding to the call in his marked police cruiser; he later died from his injuries.

The HCSO said he was “one shift away from retirement.”

Footage uploaded by the HCSO shows a coffin draped with an American flag being loaded into a vehicle and driven off accompanied by a police motorcade.

“Thank you for your service, Master Corporal Brian LaVigne,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. “This is a look from last night as HCSO’s Motor Unit escorted M.C. LaVigne from the hospital to the examiner’s office.”

According to local news reports, Garrett was charged on January 12 on counts of “first-degree felony murder, DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, felony criminal mischief, and aggravated fleeing to elude.” Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful