Naked Army Veteran, Father of 3, Shot and Killed by Sheriff’s Deputy

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File photo.

An Arizona Army veteran, who was naked as he walked in traffic early Sunday morning, was shot and killed after he attacked a Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy, MCSO said.

David Brandstetter, 26, of Fountain Hills, was shot by Sheriff’s Watch Commander Lt. Markley Johnson after the suspect opened the door of the patrol car, jumped on top of Johnson, punched him and demanded the commander hand over his service weapon, MCSO said.

“The deputy had to do everything he could to defend himself and stop this fellow before he caused more havoc,” Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Apraio said.

When Brandstetter tried to force the lieutenant’s weapon from him, Johnson shot him, sheriff’s investigators said. Brandstetter was pronounced dead at the scene.

The sheriff’s office said it received at least two 911 calls from motorists in Fountain Hills concerned about the man’s safety.

One caller told police he saw the suspect sitting in the middle of the road before getting up and running toward his car.

Johnson, a 29-year MCSO employee, said he found Brandstetter walking on a residential street, totally naked and appearing to be acting erratically.

“Something may have caused this young man to take leave of his senses,” Arpaio said. “It’s a sad situation all around. But regardless of the reason, the suspect’s actions left no alternative for my deputy.”

Arpaio said it’s not known yet whether the man was impaired.

Brandstetter was a mile from his home when the incident occurred.

Brandstetter, who was married, is the father of three children and was employed as an air conditioning technician. He was released from the U.S. Army slightly over a year ago, MCSO said.


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