JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A police officer shot and killed a man they said pointed a handgun at officers after causing a disturbance at Academy Sports in East Arlington on Tuesday morning, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
JSO Chief Tom Hackney said the man and a woman, who weren't immediately identified, had entered the store about 9:20 a.m., and the man was carrying a long rifle.
Academy Sports told police its not store policy to allow customers to bring guns inside the store. Part of its business is to prepare guns, so customers do frequently bring guns to the store, but they have to be checked in at customer service and not carried through the store.
Employees confronted the man at the front door and informed him of the policy, and the man refused to cooperate with their instructions to turn the gun over to them, Hackney said.
The man continued through the store and was confronted by management again inside the ammunition aisle, Hackney said. The man refused again to turn the gun over to employees.
Hackney said employees were on the phone with 911 the entire time.
To get the man to leave the store, employees allowed him to complete his transaction and buy ammunition, Hackney said.
He said the man and woman got into a white pickup truck in the parking lot, with the woman driving and the man a passenger.
As of 1 p.m., all westbound lanes of Atlantic remained closed, with traffic diverted onto Kernan Boulevard.
One officer opened fire, striking the truck and the man, Hackney said. He said he's not sure if the man fired his weapon at officers.
Hackney said the truck continued westbound on Atlantic, where it stopped. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the woman was taken into custody. The man's body was seen on the sidewalk of the north side of Atlantic near the intersection of Kernan Boulevard, about a quarter-mile from the store.
"(An officer) came up behind the truck and told (the woman) to get out and get on the ground," said Joseph Hill, who witnessed the shooting. "She did. They put her in handcuffs and then they cautiously approached the other side of the truck where the guy was at, I guess to make sure he was dead or whatever."
The officer who fired the shots was placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in police-involved shootings.
Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said the shooting appears to be justified.
"If a person is armed and police issue an order to drop the weapon, and if that officer doesn't know what you are going to do with that weapon other than drop it, they have the right to use deadly force because he's a threat, not only to himself, but to everyone around him," Jefferson said. "So that is justified, that officer using deadly force."
All westbound lanes of Atlantic were closed for about four hours while police investigated and documented the crime scene.
Hackney said he will hold a news conference Wednesday morning to provide more information.
The police-involved shooting is the 10th in Jacksonville this year, including the sixth fatal shooting.
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