Deputy fatally shoots knife-wielding man in South Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A knife-wielding man who made threats and refused to drop his weapon was shot late Thursday when he lunged toward a sheriff’s deputy outside a South Florida strip mall, investigators said.

Broward Sheriff Greg Tony told news outlets the 26-year-old man later died at a hospital.

According to the sheriff, the man was carrying a knife when he went into a Ross department store after 9 p.m. Thursday. Multiple callers to 911 told dispatchers the man, who had been pacing back and forth inside the store had cut himself with the knife.

A deputy arrived and the man left the store and began making threats toward himself and the deputy, Tony said.

The man was told to drop the knife, but instead he ran toward the deputy, the sheriff said.

The deputy then fired several rounds, hitting the man, Tony said.

“The deputy backed away as a tactical maneuver to try to deescalate,” Tony said. He said the shots came as the deputy tried to defend himself.

“I can tell you that an individual armed with a knife we do not train individual deputies to respond with a lesser use of force. A taser is a lesser use of force. In that case, a knife is deadly force,” Tony said.

A video taken by someone in the parking lot was turned over to investigators, the sheriff said.

“To a certain degree we were fortunate to have an individual who witnessed this and captured it on their phone and was able to cooperate and talk to our investigators so we have a chance to see this independently transpire and I think our deputy did an outstanding job trying to deescalate this,” Tony said.

No other details were released about the man, or the deputy who shot him.

The sheriff said the knife was “definitely capable of cutting and killing.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will take over the investigation. Officials said the deputy has been placed on administrative leave.