Law enforcement officials are now saying that Travis Burns' attack on a Walton sheriff’s deputy may have racially motivated. The incident is now being treated as a hate crime
Defuniak Springs police officials say there may be more to this case than what they were originally told.
Police Chief Ray Burgess says, "They requested some audio tapes. We have cameras. They've requested one of the car camera tapes and gave them a copy of our report."
This evidence requested by FDLE from the Defuniak Springs Police Department may back up what witnesses say they heard Travis Burns yelling the night he allegedly burglarized the home of off-duty Sheriff's Dep. Brad Stafford.
"Due to the circumstances surrounding the case at the Springs Apartments that other night, this will be qualified as a hate crime. It was a bias motivated crime just due to the verbiage that was used by the suspect."
Witnesses say Burns was yelling racial slurs at Stafford as he entered the home, but the investigation goes on and no one is saying whether or not this new information will affect the outcome of the investigation.
Capt. Danny Glidewell says, "It's our policy at the Sheriff's Office that any time one of our officers is involved in a shooting that we request the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be the lead agency in the investigation."
It is also the policy of the state attorney's office as well.
Stafford is a three-year veteran of the Walton County Sheriff's Office. He's currently on paid administrative leave pending this investigation.