Police: Distraught man with handgun dies after being shot by Clearwater officer

CLEARWATER, Fla. - A suspect rushed to a local hospital after being shot by a Clearwater Police officer has since died.

According to CPD spokesperson Rob Shaw, the man was shot after coming out of his home at 3018 Merrill Ave. with a handgun.

According to a friend, the man expressed suicidal thoughts earlier in the day and the man grew concerned about him.

Police have since identified the suspect as David Diroma, 69.

"The friend had been with the man when he said he had no reason to live because of various problems he was having," Shaw said. "The friend called police an hour after leaving the Merrill Avenue residence."

When police arrived on the scene, they tried to establish communication with the man via cell phone and his house phone, according to Shaw.

They also used the loudspeaker on a police cruiser outside the residence. "All of those efforts were ignored by the man, whom they saw walking around inside the house."

Shaw said at some point, the officer was forced to fire, hitting the suspect.

"Fearing for their safety, one of the officers fired a single shot at the armed man," Shaw said.

The suspect was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m.

Officer Brian Rogers, who was not injured, was placed on standard paid administrative leave.

Rogers has been with the department for more than 12 years.

Representatives of the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office and the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney's Office were on scene with Clearwater homicide detectives investigating the shooting.

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