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Putnam deputy fired, then rehired after unjustified shooting

5:25 PM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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PALATAKA, Fla. -- A deputy in Putnam County was fired, then rehired two days later after an "unjustified shooting," according to investigators.

The shooting, which hasn't been reported on until now, happened on Sept. 23, 2011, on Baden Powell Road. It involved Deputy Erik Mainville, who investigators say fired five shots at a fleeing truck.

Deputies were trying to stop the truck for a DUI investigation.

Deputy Mainville was fired on Oct. 19 for firing his gun in the direction of another deputy and passenger and for firing his gun after the truck had passed.

Mainville told investigators he fired because the truck was speeding at him. But witnesses disputed that account, saying "two of the five rounds fired by Deputy Mainville were after the vehicle was passing or had already passed."

Mainville was rehired by the Putnam County Sheriff's Office on Oct. 21, two days after being fired. He now works as a communications officer, making $23,030.80 a year. He made $32,472.71 as a deputy.

"Making a bad decision doesn't make you a bad person. We believe he was valuable. We had a need. We rehired him. He's not in the position where he can make the same mistake again," said Gary Bowling of the Sheriff's Office.

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