WTSP Channel 10 reports an armed homeowner, reportedly still grieving the recent death of his wife, was shot and killed Friday after the Polk County Sheriff’s Office say he pointed a gun at a deputy.
Officials said the deputy-involved shooting happened on Black Friday, around 10:30 a.m. on Saddlehorn Drive in Lakeland.
Sheriff Grady Judd says the man called 911 to report a suspicious person, although one was never found. According to Judd, when a deputy responded to the man’s home, the homeowner came to the door with a firearm.
Investigators say the deputy backed away to diffuse the situation, urging the man to put down the weapon. But, authorities say the homeowner exited the house and pointed the gun at the 15-year sheriff’s office veteran. The deputy was forced to shoot him once in the chest, which resulted in his death.
Sheriff Grady Judd said this was a “classic suicide by cop” incident and added that the homeowner’s wife recently passed away from cancer and his son had been worried the man would harm himself.
Sheriff Judd went on to say:
“We see we see our demand for services for those that are in crisis rise around holidays, anniversaries any special holiday to the person or family. So once again it’s not unusual for us to work suicides around the holiday. It is highly unusual that they force us as their vehicle to commit suicide.”
Watch WTSP’s video below.