Ambushed deputies honored by National Sheriff's Association

Courtesy: Leon County Sheriff's Office

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 24, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (WCTV) -- Two Leon County Sheriff's Office Deputies have been recognized by the National Sheriff's Association.

Deputy Colin Wulfekuhl and Deputy Chris Smith were honored with the Bud Meeks Deputy of the Year Award at a conference in Minneapolis on Monday morning.

Smith and Wulfekuhl were ambushed when responding to a Tallahassee house fire in November 2014. Deputy Smith was killed in the ambush. Deputy Wulfekuhl was saved by his bulletproof vest.

The gun battle that followed lasted 12 minutes with more than 100 rounds fired.

Deputy Wulfekuhl is credited with saving countless lives as he continued the gunfight and radioed to warn other first responders of the danger.

The deputies' families and Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood also attended Monday's conference.

"It doesn't repair the damage," Sheriff Mike Wood said, "But what it does, it affirms the sacrifice. It acknowledges that we know what the sacrifice was. It's the only method we have of saying, 'thank you'".


By: Julie Montanaro
June 24, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- There's some national recognition now for two deputies ambushed in Tallahassee.

Leon County Deputy Colin Wulfekuhl survived. Leon County Deputy Chris Smith did not.

This weekend they will be honored by the National Sheriff's Association as the 2016 Deputy Sheriffs of the Year.

The families and the sheriff left Friday to head to Minneapolis for the ceremony.

"It doesn't repair the damage," Sheriff Mike Wood said, "But what it does, it affirms the sacrifice. It acknowledges that we know what the sacrifice was. It's the only method we have of saying, 'thank you'".

Smith and Wulfekuhl were ambushed when responding to a fire in November 2014. It turns out a man set his home on fire to lure first responders to the scene. Smith was killed. Wulfekuhl was saved by his bulletproof vest.

The gun battle that followed lasted 12 minutes with more than 100 rounds fired.

"Chris was a great man, wonderful husband and father, but he also was a great deputy. He took great pride in his job," Smith's widow Erika Smith said. "I am humbled and honored to be able to attend the NSA conference this year with my family to accept this award in honor of my husband's bravery and heroism."


Courtesy: Leon County Sheriff's Office