Man shot and killed by Clearwater police after refusing to drop his gun

Posted at 4:46 AM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 05:57:35-04

A 34-year-old father of two was shot and killed on Thursday morning by a Clearwater police officer because he refused commands to drop his gun.

Officers received a call around 12:27 a.m. from the family of a man who called police saying he was depressed, armed and suicidal.



The man told family members that he was leaving the residence. “He armed himself with a hand gun, put the hand gun in his pocket and made a statement that he was going to hell and there was no way he was coming back from where he was going,” Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter said.

Officers responded to The Sands at Clearwater apartment complex and made contact with the family. Several officers began taking information from the family as other officers were in the area searching for the man. The apartment complex is located on Druid Road between South Belcher Road and University Drive West in Clearwater.

The man returned to the residence and parked his pickup truck in the middle of the parking lot and left it running. He started approaching the residence with the handgun in hand, according to police.

An officer ordered the man to drop the weapon multiple times. Clearwater Police say that this was heard by several witnesses.



The man threatened an officer on the scene, according to Clearwater police. The officer was forced to fire his weapon multiple times, hitting the man.

Officers immediately began performing life-saving measures on him. He was transported to Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg where he later died from his injuries.

"[He] clearly has been upset or depressed for the last several days," Chief Slaughter said during a press conference Thursday morning. "It just reaffirms that he had the intentions to potentially end his life and unfortunately forced the officer to do it."



The officer involved in the shooting will be placed on routine administrative leave after being interviewed, according to Police Chief Slaughter. The officer involved in the shooting started out as a police aide and was hired as a law enforcement officer in November. He was released from field training in July.

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