Suspect dies in officer-involved shooting in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - St. Petersburg Police say a man died Sunday after being shot by officers.

The incident began just after 6:00 p.m. Sunday at 5411 4th Avenue North, when a woman called police saying her son, 43-year-old Arthur Dixon Jr., was threatening to commit suicide.

But what happened soon after, she says, should have not gone as far as it did.

"There was nothing there that was a threat. I don't know why they murdered him, I believe that they murdered him. Why?! I called them for help," Lydia Andrews told ABC Action News.

She says the call to EMT's was to deescalate the situation.

Police arrived on scene and tried to get Dixon to come out of the home, but he refused.  Reports indicate that Dixon had dosed himself with gasoline and was holding a lighter to his body, threatening to set himself on fire.

His friend, Ramon Wuest, says Dixon was holding a lit cigarette, and that gasoline was on the floor.  Wuest wishes he had done more as he tried to talk his friend out of danger before the police arrived.

"I could have talked him out of the house, that's what's killing me. I could have talked him out of the house. They shot him. They shot my best friend," he says.

"I was like 'This ain't right, Art.  Why don't you just walk out with me right now?  All they're going to do is Baker Act you,'" said Wuest.

Wuest says the police soon showed up, and that's when they took over.

Officers started to negotiate with him through a front door window. Dixon refused to come outside and continued to threaten to harm himself when officers tried to talk to him.

About 90 minutes later, police say, Dixon started to run toward the back of the house with a pair of scissors. Two police officers were stationed at the back of the house and saw him run outside.

Officials say that Dixon raised the scissors at the officers in a threatening manner, causing the officers to draw their weapons. After several verbal warnings to drop the scissors, the man allegedly continued to threaten the officers as he got closer to them.

Both officers then fired their weapons at him.

Dixon was struck in the chest and fell to the ground. He was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to Bayfront Medical Center as a trauma alert.

Dixon later died from his injuries at the hospital.

Officers Devin Jones and Curtis Wright were both placed on administrative leave pending a further investigation into the shooting.

St. Petersburg Police say they can't comment on this specific incident until the State Attorney releases their report.

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