Florida deputy shoots ax-wielding man who busted into her home, sheriff says

An ax-wielding Florida man picked the wrong home to break into Tuesday night when he busted down a sheriff’s deputy’s door and was shot multiple times, authorities said.

Steven William Thayer, 40, had already made numerous break-in attempts throughout the Apopka neighborhood when he used an ax to smash his way into the deputy’s home, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

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The deputy, who was not named, shot the suspect multiple times to protect herself and her children, Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference. She was able to handcuff him after a struggle and hold him until deputies arrived.

Thayer used an ax to break down a deputy's door Tuesday night, the sheriff said.

Thayer used an ax to break down a deputy's door Tuesday night, the sheriff said. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)

"This could happen to anyone, but our deputies are trained to protect themselves, protect our community,” Mina said. “This person broke into a deputy's home with an ax, and who knows what his intentions were, but anyone like that is going to be met with lethal force by our deputies, and I think she did a great job."

Most of Thayer’s wounds were to his lower extremities, and he was expected to survive, Mina said.

Thayer was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed burglary of an occupied dwelling with a deadly weapon.

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He also faces an additional burglary charge for an incident prior to his run-in with the deputy.