PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. —
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy is recovering after being shot twice while trying to arrest a man in unincorporated Boynton Beach.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said deputies went to the home of Thomas Robarge, 61, on Fairway Park Drive around noon on Wednesday.
Robarge was accused of vandalizing multiple cars in the neighborhood. The arrest, though, did not go as planned.
“There’s no real rhyme or reason (for what happened), unless he’s involved with something else that we don’t know about,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said the attempted arrest started simply enough, with Robarge’s brother allowing the deputies into the home.
“Inside the house, it was pretty dark because the blinds were drawn and there were no lights on,” Bradshaw said.
Once the deputies were inside the home, Robarge stepped out of a bedroom armed with a gun.
“Multiple shots rang out,” Bradshaw said. “One of the deputies was struck in the leg and the hand. The other deputies returned fire. The suspect retreated back into the bedroom.”
All of the deputies got out of the home, and that’s when the standoff began. For hours, negotiators tried to talk Robarge into coming out.
Investigators released a video they said showed Robarge at his front door, holding his gun in his left hand.
“He does come to the door several times,” said Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Major Talal Masri. “He does have his gun. This is his personal gun, not the deputy’s gun.”
Another video released by the sheriff’s office showed Robarge tossing the deputy’s gun out of his home. The deputy had dropped the gun when he was shot, officials said.
Eventually, the SWAT team fired gas into the home, forcing Robarge to come out and surrender.
Robarge has a very limited criminal history. His only conviction was for DUI in 2009.
He now faces three charges of attempted homicide of a police officer.
As for the injured deputy, the sheriff’s office is not releasing his identity, other than to say he’s 35 years old and has been with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for six years.
He is expected to be released from the hospital by Thursday.