Jackson County Deputy Harold “Mike” Altman was on patrol the night of Jan. 30,
2007, near Sheriff John McDaniel’s house. He was the first to respond that night to a call for help from McDaniel’s wife, Mellie.
When Altman arrived at the McDaniel house, he was shot down by Lionel Sands and Daniel Brown, the two men who had followed Mellie McDaniel home and murdered her. Moments later, Sheriff McDaniel and several other officers arrived. A gun battle ensued, resulting in the death of Sands and Brown.
Altman’s sacrifice that night was recognized Thursday at the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence: Behind Closed Doors, 2013 Rural Training Institute at Chipola College in Marianna.
The institute gave a special presentation, the first of its kind, to Altman’s mother and father, Madeline and Harold Altman. Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts made the presentation, telling them that every law enforcement officer recognizes that at any moment they too may be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.
“He was one of the most caring people I’ve ever known,” Roberts said. “He had a real compassion for people.”
Madeline Altman said her son died “doing what he loved best.”
She said after the ceremony that Deputy Altman would call her every night after work and tell her about her day.
“He wasn’t about locking people up,” she said. “He was about helping people.”
Deputy Altman will be honored again in a memorial on May 24 at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
“This will be a memorial to honor our law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, and their families,” Roberts said.