Honors continue for Deputy Chris Smith

Amber Houston
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Post-humous honors continue to be bestowed upon Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy and Monticello local, Deputy Christopher “Tater” Smith. The most recent among these is the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award 2015 at the Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO). The honor is given to memorialize his “extraordinary Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 3.17.06 PMacts of heroism and courage,” according to Crime Watch, the official magazine of LCSO. He was honored alongside the men he served alongside: the award went to four officers this year including Smith. It was shared among LCSO Deputy Smith, LCSO Deputy Colin Wulfekuhl, Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) Officer Mark Lewis, and TPD Investigator Scott Angulo. Smith was among the first of the emergency responders who arrived on scene at a house fire in Tallahassee on November 22, 2014. Little did those responders know that the fire was intentionally set to lure responders to an ambush, in which the suspect intended to kill as many law enforcement, emergency medical services, and fire department personnel as possible. Deputy Smith was fatally shot during the twelve-minute gunfight. His shiftmate, Deputy Wulfekuhl seeing his partner gunned down, engaged the suspect in an active gunfight. He also warned the Tallahassee Fire Department (TFD) personnel to get back away from the blaze. While Wulfekuhl engaged the suspect, TPD Officer Mark Lewis tried to get Smith to safety, “by pulling him into his patrol car while he was continually fired upon by the suspect.” Investigator Angulo was off duty that day, enjoying his time with his family at his nearby residence. Angulo “left the safety of his house to assist the other [officers] in the gunfight,” according to Crime Watch. The article closed with this sentiment, “Many lives were saved that day due to the heroic acts of these selfless men. The men went above and beyond by putting themselves in an unknown and deadly situation. The community of Leon County are fortunate to have these individuals serving and protecting the citizens.” And, indeed, Jefferson County is fortunate to have had the honor of knowing, loving, and being served by such a hero as Deputy Smith.