AVALON PARK, Fla.  — The 42-year-old woman fatally shot by two deputies after raising a handgun at the officers once served as an award-winning contract negotiator for the U.S. Army in Orlando.

  • Tracy Drowne, 42, was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon
  • Deputies Nathan Henley and Joseph O’Neil opened fire
  • State law enforcement agency investigation underway

Tracy Drowne was honored in 2013 for negotiating the $11.2 billion Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support (FOCUS) contract while working at a U.S. Army program based in Orlando. 

The Warfighter FOCUS contract consolidated the U.S. Army's live, virtual and constructive training operations to increase the effectiveness of the programs and save money, records show.

She was directly responsible for 17 specific actions that reduced the cost of the contract by more than $111 million, the U.S. Army said in a 2013 news release.

That honor came three years after marriage ended. 

Tracy Drowne was married to Salvador Perez  for 11 years, the ex-husband told Spectrum News on Wednesday.

They had two children together, both girls. The children are now 16 and 21 and live with him in Southern California.

They divorced in 2010.

Perez, also a former member of the U.S. Army, called his former wife a “good woman” who made a poor decision.

Perez said he didn’t have any additional information about Tuesday’s shooting beyond what the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has already made public.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina on Tuesday said officers responded to a battery call at about 4:30 p.m. at a home in the 1000 block of Fountain Coin Loop in The Reserve at Golden Isle, a subdivision in the east Orange County community of Avalon Park.

A man told deputies he was struck by a woman, identified Wednesday as Drowne, because of an earlier disturbance with his 16-year-old daughter.

“When our deputies went to confront the suspect at her house, she came out of the house with a firearm, pointed it at our deputies,” Mina said Tuesday. “We had two deputies who opened fire on the suspect because they were in fear for their lives.”

The deputies tried to help her after the shooting. She was rushed to an unidentified hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Mina said.

The deputies were placed on temporary, paid administrative leave. Their names were released Wednesday. Both are patrol deputies.

  • Deputy Nathan Henley was hired in August 2014.
  • Deputy Joseph O’Neil was hired in June 2018.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating. Its findings will be reviewed by the State Attorney's Office.

"Once that process is completed, OCSO will conduct its own internal investigation," the agency said in a statement.

Drowne earned high praise for her work in the U.S. Army.

In a news release, Drowne was honored as the only noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army to "issue and negotiate modifications" to the Warfighter FOCUS contract.

The $11.2 billion contract was "the largest ever" at the time for U.S. Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation, also known as PEO STRI, in Orlando.

She "directly supported multinational training objectives in Afghanistan where she assisted with the fulfillment of the Afghanistan National Security Force training, consisting of 175,000 Afghan soldiers," the news release added. "During FY13, she obtained her Level III certification in contracting. In addition, she is enrolled in an MBA program and [is] maintaining a 3.5 grade point average."

She was also mentioned twice in the July/August 2013 edition of Inside STRI, the official newsletter for PEO STRI.

She was quoted as saying she enjoyed reading books about "leadership, investing and relationships." 

She was also pictured shaking hands with Joseph Giunta, Jr., then the director of PEO STRI's Acquisition Center for "her work upon her departure from the organization Aug. 30."