LOXAHATCHEE GROVES — The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office has identified the deputy who fatally shot former EMT Ricky Whidden, 46, this weekend.
The deputy is 15-year law enforcement veteran Justin Rigney, who’s assigned to the K9 unit.
Rigney has been training dogs professionally for nearly 25 years and he is the president of the Florida Law Enforcement Canine Association.
Additionally, he runs K9 Services Unlimited, a family dog training business, where his wife also works.
He’s been placed on paid administrative leave while PBSO, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office investigates the shooting.
Whidden was killed early Saturday morning after police said he failed to comply with commands given him by PBSO.
According to an official statement from PBSO, Rigney was responding to a report of a man armed with a knife threatening himself and his family members in Loxahatchee Groves.
According to PBSO’s official statement, when deputies arrived on scene: “The male refused to comply with deputies commands. A PBSO deputy used non-lethal weapon striking the male and knocking him down. When deputies approached the male in attempt to take him into custody he jumped up and lunged at the deputies. One deputy discharged his firearm striking the male.”
Whidden was pronounced dead at the scene.