Police: Man shot, killed by deputies after shots fired

Officers said man was 'suicidal'

LAKE ASBURY, Fla. – Deputies with the Clay County Sheriff's Office said police were forced to open fire on a man, who came out of his home holding a firearm.

Deputies were called to the home on Citation Drive Saturday afternoon after the man inside was making suicide threats. When deputies arrived, they heard gunfire inside the home. They determined the man was the only person inside the home.

Police began to negotiate with the man via telephone. During that time, 16 to 20 shots were fired inside the home and windows were broken out. The man would communicate by telephone, hang up and call back.

Negotiations went on for several hours.

Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said eventually the man came out of the home, and took aim at a SWAT deputy across the street. That's when the deputy fired one shot at the man, killing him.

The man is identified as Billy D. Smith, 31. He is a former U.S. Marine with four years of infantry service.

Neighbors in the area are shaken up by what happened.

"It's a nice neighborhood," Julie Mayo, a neighbor, said. "I don't consider it crime-ridden or anything, and I think it can really just happen any place."

Hector Borrell, who also lives in the area, agrees.

"It could happen to anyone," Borrell said. "I mean, you have people living around here, but you never know what's going on in their lives."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been called in to investigate, which is standard procedure. The deputy involved in the shooting is a seven year veteran with the sheriff's office. It's the first time he's been involved in a shooting.

About the Authors: