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Officers kill a 71-year-old Lakeland man carrying a shotgun who allegedly threatened his neighbors

Officers kill Lakeland man carrying shotgun
Posted at 3:01 AM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-03 06:29:15-04

Police shot and killed a 71-year-old man carrying a shotgun Thursday night in Lakeland.

Officers responded around 8:45 p.m. to 726 W. Crescent Drive to a dispute between neighbors. Authorities say the neighbors reported Jerry Roach was yelling racial slurs at them, fired a shot into the air and pointed a gun at them.

The responding officers set up a perimeter around Roach's house and evacuated nearby homes. A police negotiator then called Roach by phone and asked him multiple times to exit his house peacefully.

Police say Roach told the negotiator, "He was coming out and officers would have to kill him." Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens said Roach promised to walk out of his home with his shotgun despite requests for him to leave unarmed.

Roach left his home carrying his shotgun around 10:52 p.m. Police say he continued to advance toward officers even as they ordered him to put his weapon down.

Chief Giddens said six officers, fearing for their own lives, fired at Roach and hit the 71-year-old multiple times.

Officers performed first aid on Roach until Paramedics could transport him to Lakeland Regional Hospital. Doctors pronounced him dead around 11:20 p.m. No officers were injured during the incident.

The officers who fired will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Lakeland Police Department and State Attorney's Office.

Chief Giddens said officers responded to Roach's home at least eight times in the past.

Police say that Roach is a convicted felon with a criminal history that includes three felony and two misdemeanor arrests. Due to a felony conviction, he was prohibited to have possession of a firearm.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, since 1990 Roach has been arrested multiple times for Battery, Resisting an Officer with Violence, Battery on an Officer and DUI.