Thursday, February 22, 2018
Public safety

Hernando deputy cleared in shooting of high school football player

BROOKSVILLE — The State Attorney's office on Monday cleared a Hernando County sheriff's deputy of any criminal wrongdoing in the February shooting of an 18-year-old student at Nature Coast Technical High School.

The student, Joseph "Joey" Berrios, attacked the deputy, Ramona Fuhs, after she ordered him to stop, according to the statement from the State Attorney's office, which summarized the findings of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Berrios continued to strike her in the head and shoulders even after she backed away from him, the summary said.

Therefore, the office ruled, Fuhs, 41, had reason to fear for her life when she fired two shots, striking Berrios in the leg and buttocks on Feb. 27 near his parents' home on Candler Avenue in Spring Hill.

A standout linebacker for Nature Coasts's football team, Berrios had no prior arrest record. Fuhs, who has twice worked for the agency, and has been a full-time deputy there since November 2011, was placed on administrative leave following the incident, but was returned to duty in March.

Berrios, who was released from the hospital several weeks after the shooting, faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer.

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