Steven William Thayer, 40, had already made numerous break-in attempts throughout the Apopka neighborhood when he used an ax to smash his way into the deputy’s home, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
The deputy, who was not named, shot the suspect multiple times to protect herself and her children, Sheriff John Mina said at a news conference. She was able to handcuff him after a struggle and hold him until deputies arrived.
"This could happen to anyone, but our deputies are trained to protect themselves, protect our community,” Mina said. “This person broke into a deputy's home with an ax, and who knows what his intentions were, but anyone like that is going to be met with lethal force by our deputies, and I think she did a great job."
Most of Thayer’s wounds were to his lower extremities, and he was expected to survive, Mina said.
Thayer was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and armed burglary of an occupied dwelling with a deadly weapon.
He also faces an additional burglary charge for an incident prior to his run-in with the deputy.