Litz a K-9 Sheriff's Deputy in Marion County Florida was shot and killed
Saturday February 7th, 2004 by a 74 year old man when deputies went to
the man's home to conduct a well beeing check, authorities say. Deputy
Brian Litz, 35, died in the atack. The elderly man that was being checked
on, Ivan Gotham, also died. The shooting took place at 9030 SW 104th Place
in Ocala, Florida.
Sheriff Ed Dean announced at a news conference that the
Sheriff's Office communication center received a call from Gotham's son
asking the department to check on his father. He advised that his father
had a gun. He said he had not heard
from his father in two days. The call, which reportedly was made at 12:07 p.m., was dispatched at 12:12 p.m.
According to neighbors, a sheriff's deputy showed up at
Gotham's home and within minutes of his arrival, made contact with Gotham.
Gotham, who was inside his home, began arguing with the
One of the deputies hid behind a post, while Brian Litz walked up to Gotham's front window. Witnesses said they heard a loud pop, and Litz, who was standing at the window, fell to the ground. The witnesses said they heard Litz yell to his colleague that he was hit. Litz, died on the scene.
Deputies who served with Litz said he was a fun-loving man who went above and beyond the call of duty to help fellow deputies. Litz had a wife, Cherie, and a son, Brian, 5.
Hired as a part-time bailiff in October 1994, Litz became a deputy in June 1995. He was transferred to the K-9 Unit in October 2001. Before he was transferred to the K-9 Unit, Litz was a former Honor Guard and Field Force Team member. He also served as a Field Training Officer for the Patrol Division.
He and his dog Justice, were practically inseparable.
Litz was given numerous Letters of Commendation from citizens and other law enforcement agencies, and was also awarded three Eagle Eye medals and a Medal of Commendation. Two years ago, Litz, along with K-9 Justice, had received their National K-9 Bomb Certification which certified them as experts in detecting explosives.