FCI Shootout Survivor Speaks

By Julie Montanaro
August 15, 7:37pm

The federal agent who was injured in the shootout at Tallahassee's federal prison spoke out for the first time Tuesday.

LT Mike Cockerham is now back at work and thanked the police officers who rushed to the scene that terrible Wednesday in June.

There were handshakes and hugs for LT Mike Cockerham, the federal agent who was shot in the lobby of Tallahassee's federal prison back in June and survived.

"This is hard. The emotions are strong," Cockerham began.

This is the first time he's spoken about that day in public. His comments brief, he said, to keep the tears at bay.

"I will never be able to tell all of you how much you mean to me for what you did, but from the bottom of my heart, thank you."

Cockerham and FCI Warden Mildred Rivera came to thank the Tallahassee police officers who answered the 911 call that terrifying morning.

Rivera said, "That day was a day for all of us to remember and that day was a day that my heart, I tell you, dropped down to my toes."

And while neither LT Cockerham nor the warden would answer questions about that horribly historic day, they said they wanted to personally thank the officers who came to restore order amidst the chaos.

Two men died that day: prison guard Ralph Hill and federal agent William Sentner, who had come to arrest him. Hill was one of six guards indicted in a sex-for-favors scandal. Charges against the other guards are still pending in federal court.