ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orange County sheriff's deputy who was shot and killed while responding to a car burglary call has been identified on Tuesday morning.
The shooting happened late Monday in the Orlando gated community of Westminster Landing.
Sheriff's Capt. Angelo Nieves says firefighters "made valiant efforts" to save the 34-year-old Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Scott Pine, who died a short time later at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
Officials say Pine attempted to question 28-year-old suspect Benjamin Holtermann (pictured below), who shot Pine three times. Holtermann ran away and was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Holtermann's girlfriend, identified by deputies as 18-year-old Erica Pugh (pictured below), was taken into custody and faces burglary charges in the incident. She also faces grand theft charges in an armed robbery that occurred Friday night in the area of Hiawassee Road and Old Winter Garden Road, deputies said, and is being held without bond.
Orange County investigators are still trying to confirm the accused gunman is the same Holtermann who was on probation after serving three years in a Maryland prison for robbery. Holtermann was questioned by Maryland police about another home burglary but didn't have enough evidence to arrest him, according to authorities.
Over the summer, Maryland authorities issued an arrest warrant for Holtermann's girlfriend, Pugh, for allegedly failing to appear in court on a theft charge.
Sheriff Jerry L. Demings asked for prayers for Pine's wife and three small children. Demings held a news conference, where he talked about Pine, calling him a hero, a great deputy sheriff and a family man who had many friends.
"Deputy Pine wanted to make a difference in this community," Demings said. "Scott acted bravely and gave his life, making a difference so others can sleep safely."
Demings also said a sheriff's helicopter caught the shooting on video, but it will not be released to the public. He also said Pine was wearing a bullet-resistant vest, which stopped two of the gunshots. The third "mortally wounded" Pine, Demings said.
"We now have to endure the tragedy with the family to try to understand this, which is unbearable and really not understandable, and we hope the community understands the sacrifice this family has undertaken," Nieves said.
Pine was employed with the Orange County Sheriff's Office on January 04, 2011 and assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division, Sector III. Pine was from Shreveport, La.
Law enforcement agencies from across the county sent condolences to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
"Chief Paul Rooney and the entire Orlando Police Department offer their sincere condolences for the Deputy killed in the line of duty overnight. His family, friends, and the Orange County Sheriff's Office are in the thoughts and prayers of every member of OPD," a news release stated. "The men and women in law enforcement risk their lives every day to protect the community they serve and are true heroes. OPD has and will continue to assist and support the Orange County Sheriff's Office, our law enforcement brothers and sisters, through their time of sacrifice and sorrow."
"Our hearts go out to the family of the fallen deputy, and to the entire Orange County Sheriff's Office. We mourn the loss of this courageous deputy, who gave his life in the line of duty and in the service of Orange County's citizens. Our full resources are at the disposal of Sheriff Demings and his department, as well as the family of the slain deputy," Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said in a statement.
"I am heartbroken to learn that Deputy Pine was killed in the line of duty. My prayers are with his wife, three children, other family members and his law enforcement family. He is a true hero who died protecting his community," Attorney General Pam Bondi said.
Donations can be made to any Orlando Federal Credit Union in the name of the Jonathon Scott Pine Memorial Fund.
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