Police Chief: Officers, Deputies Fatally Shoot Military Veteran


ORLANDO, Fla. — Four police officers and two sheriff's deputies fatally shot a gun-wielding 73-year-old military veteran who was apparently suffering a mental health crisis on Thursday morning, officials said.

Orlando Deputy police Chief José Velez told news outlets that the man called the veteran's crisis line early Thursday to say he was considering suicide. He also said that if “police gets called, there’s going to be blood."

When officers arrived at the home near Orlando International Airport just before 9 a.m., the man was outside armed with a pistol.

The officers, along with two Orange County Sheriff's deputies, tried for about 20 minutes to deescalate the situation, Velez said. One of the deputies is a military veteran and tried to use that relationship to talk to the man.

“They begged him to put the gun down,” Velez said, adding that the man eventually made movements in a “threatening manner."

According to Velez, four officers and two deputies fired at the man. He died from his injuries. No law enforcement personnel were injured.

The man's name has not been released. The shooting will be investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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