Deputy Wayne J. Koester

Deputy Wayne J. Koester

Lake County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Wayne J. Koester

Deputy Wayne Koester and two other deputies were shot while responding to a domestic violence call at a home in Ocala National Forest.

The three deputies had made contact with the female subject at a neighbor's home. The deputies searched for the male subject at the couple's home but did not locate him. As they returned the female subject to the home, the suspect ambushed them from the woods with a shotgun loaded with slugs. He exchanged shots with the deputies, wounding all three. Deputy Koester was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

The suspect fled the scene on a motorcycle, but was apprehended later in the day following a massive manhunt and a second shootout. When the suspect was apprehended, it was discovered that he suffered gunshot wounds from one of the shootouts. He was convicted of first degree murder, two counts of attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, and sentenced to death.

Deputy Koester had served with the Lake County Sheriff's Office for only 9 months and had previously served with the Umatilla Police Department for 8 years. He is survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 1426

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

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Good morning Mr. Koester. We've never met, and I'm deeply sorry for that. I'm dating your daughter, we started dating August 3, 2016. Your grandson Brayden, let me tell you, he's one of a kind, heart of gold, funny as can be. He truly brightens anyone's day. And your granddaughter Avery, she's amazing, I really wish you could be here to meet you. No joke, we have pictures of you up and when Avery sees when she does her "want" motion. Makes it feel like you are with us, which is no problem by anyone in our household. I can tell Amber misses you so much, I do what I can to cheer her up and make her smile, but nothing comes close to her being able to hold you one more time. I've heard nothing but good stories about you, you were and are an amazing man. Well, until next time, Mr. Koester.

February 9, 2018

Dustin Bass

February 9, 2018

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