Volusia County deputies said they shot and killed a suicidal man on Wednesday after he approached them while carrying a gun.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said they requested Volusia County’s assistance around 4 p.m. when a 52-year-old Bunnell man sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend threatening suicide. His cellphone was tracked to Highbridge Road near Ormond Beach, just west of the Halifax River.
A Volusia deputy found the man and his parked motorcycle west of the bridge that spans the river. Authorities said the man had the gun in his hand and told the deputy to stay away from him. He then continued to text suicidal messages, including demands for law enforcement to leave him alone. He also pointed the gun at himself at times, said police.
Deputies said they attempted to talk to the man by calling his cellphone and sending him text messages. He initially ignored them, but then responded with more suicidal statements.
At one point, police said the man fired his gun, but it is unknown what he may have been shooting at. Around 6:15 p.m., the man advanced on deputies in an aggressive manner while brandishing his weapon and refusing to heed their warnings to stop, officials said.
Deputies said they protected themselves by firing at him. The man was struck and he fell to the ground. Once deputies determined that it was safe, paramedics approached the man and pronounced him dead at 6:25 p.m.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says the two deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been called in to investigate the shooting. Deputies said both are standard practices in officer-involved shootings.
The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.