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MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — A veteran Brevard County sheriff's deputy died Tuesday after being shot while ordering two motel burglary suspects from a car that flipped after its tires were blown out during a chase, authorities said.
Deputy Barbara Pill had stopped the car shortly after 11 a.m. and was shot as she ordered the two suspects to get out of the vehicle, Sheriff Jack Parker said. The two tried to flee, he said, but after getting about a mile away they were arrested
Pill, who had more than three decades in law enforcement, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Parker called the slain deputy "one of those heroes behind the scene" and said he was still coming to terms with her death.
"It doesn't really make a lot of sense. But that's the kind of people who do these kinds of things, people with violent backgrounds," Parker said at a news conference.
Later, Florida's governor issued a statement mourning her death.
"When officers lose their lives in the line of duty, it is a solemn reminder of how grateful we should all be for their service," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. "May we always show the honor and gratitude these brave men and women deserve."
Deputies and Melbourne police officers had chased the vehicle, which flipped after its tires were blown out by "stop sticks" placed in the road by officers, according to official accounts.
Authorities said they arrested 22-year-old Brandon Lee Bradly, and added he was suspected in the shooting. Parker said Bradly has a criminal history that includes larceny and carrying a concealed weapon.
The sheriff said the second person in the car was also arrested and identified her as 19-year-old Andria Michelle.
The two were being interviewed by investigators and charges were not immediately filed, Parker said.
It was not immediately known if Bradly and Kerchner have attorneys.
Muhammad Malik, manager at an Econo Lodge in Melbourne, told Florida Today that he called the sheriff's office after two people rented a room and allegedly tried to steal furniture.
"It's something you don't hear happening around here," said Trever Nutting, 33, of Palm Bay. "Every place has its bad spots, but to happen where it happened — it's odd."