One deputy injured, one person killed during early morning S.W.A.T. Team search warran
Deputy Garry Chambliss was killed by a stray bullet in Gifford 31 days ago. Since that time, deputies and detectives with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office have participated in Operation Safe Streets. This is a detail targeting the apprehension of wanted fugitives, the removal of guns and drugs from the streets, and to ultimately solve the murder of Deputy Chambliss.
This morning, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team attempted to serve a search warrant in the 4500 block of 35th Avenue in Gifford. The search warrant was for illegal narcotics. It was served in conjunction with the Special Investigations Unit as part of Operation Safe Streets.
The S.W.A.T. Team approached the house under the cover of darkness. As they positioned themselves to execute the search warrant, Andrew Coffee III (38), exited the residence and, upon seeing law enforcement officers, attempted to flee back inside. Shots were fired from inside the residence at deputies. The deputies struggled to take Coffee III into custody. Three S.W.A.T. Team members returned fire. One person inside of the residence was killed. Deputy Kelsey Zorc was grazed by a bullet in her shoulder. Deputy Zorc’s ballistic vest prevented further injury. Five people, including Andrew Coffee III and his son, Andrew Coffee IV , were taken into custody from the residence. Deputy Zorc was treated at Indian River Medical Center and released. Specific details of the shooting are under investigation at this time.
The Sheriff said
Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated, “Early this morning, our S.W.A.T. Team took fire while attempting to serve a high risk search warrant in the Gifford Area. The last time the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office discharged a firearm was December 18, 2015. The Coffee family has a history of violence against law enforcement.
The three deputies who fired their weapons were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation. This is in accordance with standard procedure.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. Team was formed in 1984. This is the first deadly force incident for the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. Team. Operation Safe Streets began on February 20, 2017. It has resulted in four search warrants, the arrest of 16 persons, and the seizure of trafficking amounts of crack cocaine along with two weapons. Andrew Coffee III has more than 57 arrests while Andrew Coffee IV has more than 36 arrests.
The name of the deceased and the deputies involved are not being released at this time. Details about this case will be released as they become available.