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Sergeant Thomas Dane, Volusia Sheriff’s Office, Florida

2019 State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Recipient

On April 11, 2019, the Volusia Sheriff’s Office received a call about a carjacking that had occurred at a residence in Deltona. The female victim reported that a man got into her truck, pointed a gun at her, demanded her keys, and then drove off. Deputies responded to the area, located the truck operated by the suspect, and attempted to perform a vehicle stop. The suspect fled and appeared to be waving a handgun out the driver’s side window as he drove erratically and fled the area.

Sergeant Thomas Dane was among the deputies who pursued the suspect. The suspect fled to the DeLand area and, at one point, he swerved toward a deputy who had deployed stop sticks on the roadway to disable the truck. After several stop stick hits and with all four tires appearing to be deflated, the truck slowed to a crawl and came to a stop in front of the Volusia County Fairgrounds. The suspect, armed with a handgun, got out of the truck and ran toward several motorists who were stopped on the roadway. A deputy then drove his unmarked vehicle toward the suspect, preventing him from reaching another potential carjacking victim, at which point the suspect ran in the other direction and opened fire on several deputies.

As Sergeant Dane exited his vehicle, he received a head wound from a round fired by the suspect. Although momentarily knocked backward, Sergeant Dane returned fire along with the other deputies. The suspect was struck multiple times as he fled toward a nearby wooded area. Sergeant Dane joined the other deputies and pursued the suspect into the wooded area. They found him wounded and lying on the ground with the gun still in his hand. Once the suspect was secured, Sergeant Dane exited the woods and sought medical treatment. He was then flown to a hospital where he received treatment for his injury. The suspect was also transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

All the deputies involved in this incident acted bravely, but Sergeant Thomas Dane, in particular, demonstrated great courage, bravery, and persistence. Although wounded in the head, he remained engaged in the fight and continued to support his fellow deputies as they pursued the suspect. It was not until after the suspect was apprehended that Sergeant Dane sought treatment for his head wound.

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