Wendt joined the Bradenton Fire Department in December 2003 after volunteering with Cedar Hammock-Southern Manatee while working at Ten-8 Fire Equipment.I am posting this with an extremely heavy heart. This morning I woke up to news of this from his Mom. My prayers for my friend and his entire family as well as the firefighters and police officers involved with this tragedy.
A year later, he spent 13 months in Iraq with the United States Army Reserve. Wendt received a Bronze Star Medal for his efforts.
On May 13, 2005, as a recovery section sergeant with HHC Platoon, 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor and Task Force Liberty, Wendt “went to the aid of a fellow soldier who was injured and trapped under a burning vehicle during a Vehicle Born Improvised Explosives Device attack,” according to the U.S. War Office. He used tow chains to move the burning vehicle away from the injured soldier.
“It seems like every day you read about this, but when it hits home, it's different,” Gallo said.
He was a firefighter and volunteered to serve this country in combat.
When will we ever get to the point where being back home is less dangerous than combat for those we send?
Officer fatally shoots firefighter brandishing guns
Published: Monday, November 24, 2014
Donald Wendt in a 2008 photo provided by the City of Bradenton
Wendt, 50, was shot and killed Nov. 23, 2014, by a Bradenton police officer.
MANATEE COUNTY - A Bradenton firefighter was shot and killed by a city police officer Sunday night after the firefighter reportedly approached officers brandishing two handguns.
Bradenton Police SWAT Officer Jason Nuttall — a 15-year veteran — shot Donald Wendt, 50, who was employed as a firefighter for the Bradenton Fire Department.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.
Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski said Wendt served two tours of military duty in Afghanistan and may have been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
At 9:30 p.m. Sunday, neighbors called police to report Wendt was outside of his home in the 3300 block of Oxford Drive waving a weapon and threatening to kill himself and his sister.
A SWAT team and hostage negotiators were summoned. Wendt was inside when police arrived, so officers set up a perimeter and evacuated people from nearby homes.
Team members were trying to contact Wendt by phone, when he re-emerged from the home and pointed a gun at police.
Nuttall fired a single shot at the firefighter, killing him.
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