A Florida police officer was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday while helping Border Patrol officers chase a suspected illegal alien that had fled from a traffic stop. Nassau County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Oliver was pursuing the suspect on foot when he was fatally struck by an oncoming SUV.
According to police, Oliver was in the process of conducting a traffic stop alongside another Nassau County deputy and a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The target was a pickup truck that was crammed full with six people, raising suspicion among the officers.
The Border Patrol agent discovered that at least three of the vehicle’s occupants were illegal immigrants and began placing them under arrest. That’s when Obbidio Portillo-Fuentes jumped out of the car and fled the scene, darting across the roadway.
Oliver and his fellow deputy instinctively gave chase, Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said. While his fellow officer made it to the median, Oliver was run down by a woman in an SUV who, police claim, could not have avoided the tragedy.
The slain officer was recently divorced and leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter. People in Nassau County have come together to provide food and supplies for both Oliver’s family and other law enforcement officers in the area.
Border Patrol officials have yet to confirm whether Portillo-Fuentes is in the country legally, Breitbart reported. He was apprehended about 12 hours after the tragedy unfolded.
Watch Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper’s emotional statement below: