Eyewitness footage has emerged of a good Samaritan intervening to stop a man who attacked a deputy after the cop tried to pull him over.
Passer-by Ashad Russell shot Edward Strother, who attacked Deputy Dean Bardes, punching him repeatedly and pinning him to the road.
Newly released cell phone videos show Strother pinning Deputy Bardes to the ground after the deputy chased the suspect several miles on I-75.
Drivers pulled over to watch the incident unfold, with some capturing footage and images on their cell phones.The terror can be clearly heard in the witnesses' voices as they recorded the unfolding incident.
The footage captured the moment Russell, a civilian, intervenes to stop the incident, approaching the two men with his weapon raised.
Bardes pleads with him: 'Shoot him! Shoot him!' as he struggles with Strother, who he believed was armed.
Russell, who has a concealed weapons permit, raised his gun, and fired three shots, all of which hit Strother.Seconds later, Russell dropped his weapon and slowly walked away to wait for deputies.
On the film three shots clearly ring out as the witnesses describe seeing Strother 'on top of the cop'.
Medics rushed Strother to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
A total of around a dozen photos and videos were handed over to the state attorney’s office, which determined the shooting was justified with the life of the deputy in danger.
Lee County Sheriff's Office released a single photograph of the incident in which is praised Russell as a 'hero'.
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott hailed both the deputy and his savior as heroes in an emotional Facebook post about the attack.
He revealed how Bardes, who usually brings recruits along with him to train, was working alone on Monday.
'Earlier this week, two heroes met on I-75 and while they had never met before, one would save the others life.
'Ironically, this was the first day in a while that Deputy Bardes was alone on patrol because as a Field Training Officer, he typically has a recruit riding with him to learn the business,' he said.
Thanking the man who saved his colleague's life, Sheriff Scott said: 'I thank the hero that recognized the imminent threat, rushed to Deputy Bardes’ aid, and ultimately stopped that threat.
'In a day and age where race is a near instant focus for media and other pundits in police incidents, the fact is that this hero happens to be a man of color who stopped another man of color from further harming or killing a white cop; thereby reminding us that black lives matter, blue lives matter, and indeed all life matters.'
The man's gun was seized as evidence but replaced immediately by Shoot Straight, he added.
Bardes was taken to hospital alongside his attacker but is not thought to have suffered serious injuries.