Sheriff Chris Nocco said Wednesday that a suspect fatally shot by deputies this week had made some kind of movement that led them to fear for their lives.
He would not elaborate on what that movement was, only saying that the suspect, Jerry Dwight Brown, 41, of Lakeland, who was not armed, did not obey orders from arresting detectives.
For months undercover narcotics detectives investigated Brown, who they said dealt prescription drugs.
Their investigation led them to a tire shop on Highway 301 on Tuesday afternoon for an undercover drug purchase. Nocco said detectives planned to buy a large amount of prescription drugs from Brown and then arrest him.
When an undercover detectives signaled to deputies, they moved in for the arrest, Nocco said. Brown was ordered to show his hands and, according to the sheriff, he made some type of movement that prompted detectives to open fire.
"Our detectives had an absolute fear that their lives were in jeopardy,” Nocco said. “This is a split second decision. These things happen at a moment’s notice, and any movement can cause them to fear for their lives."
Nocco would not say how many shots were fired.
The State Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting.