The citizens of our community, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office and the profession of law enforcement lost a member of their family that day. Sergeant Michael Wilson, or Mike as we called him, gave his life in the line of duty to protect another.
Mike was one of several deputies who were responding to a call for help from a citizen who was in trouble, feared for their safety and had no-where else to turn. A disagreement between a husband and his family had turned horribly wrong. The husband had become physically violent and was attacking his wife and son.
Mike, who was on a traffic stop, heard the call, knew he was the closest unit, quickly cleared it and responded without hesitation knowing he could make things better. Arriving prior to other responders, Mike moved toward the apartment of the troubled caller. The 911 Call Center kept him updated by radio of the events unfolding inside the home. He provided instruction to other responding units, but hearing that the husband was continuing his attack on family members, he could hesitate no longer and entered the home. He was met with gunfire. A single bullet struck Mike in the upper chest narrowly missing the bullet resistant vest he always wore to protect him from such an attack.
Mike used his last breath to announce "SHOTS FIRED" over the radio to warn other deputies of the presence of the attacker. He then fell to the ground silent. Despite the extraordinary efforts of deputies, paramedics and firefighters, Mike was gone.
Mike gave his life doing what he loved. He loved being a deputy sheriff, serving the community in which he was raised. He began his law enforcement career at the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office as a correctional deputy in the jail. He then moved to a patrol deputy assigned to the Port Charlotte Area. When a School Resource Officer was needed at Port Charlotte High School, Mike jumped at the opportunity as he knew he could make a difference having attended the school himself. The students remember him as a caring, no-nonsense cop. They claimed they could tell if they were in trouble by whether he was smiling or not.
We know that to be true, as Mike was known for his smile and the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. He was someone who loved to laugh and play jokes and you knew he was up to something when you saw that certain smirk on his face.
It has been said that Mike Wilson was unique, one of a kind. While this is certainly true, his commitment to law enforcement and the community was unwavering. It is a commitment shared by many first responders. A commitment to a life of service, a commitment to answer the call for help regardless of the danger and a commitment to sacrifice to protect others. Mike made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this commitment.
Many ask why we do what we do. We do it because we care, because we want to make a difference. Doing our part to keep our communities safe, facing the horrors of life so citizens can sleep soundly at night. Mike was no different.
Mike made a difference in the lives of the citizens of Charlotte County and the men and women of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. His commitment to and passion for law enforcement and his smile will always be remembered.
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9.
Mike, you now sit beside Him. We will never forget. We love you brother.
- Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell