ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A 28-year-old man was shot and killed Tuesday night when authorities said he pointed a gun at a St. Augustine police offer and a St. Johns County deputy who responded to a domestic disturbance call at a condominium on Masters Drive.
Chuck Mulligan, with the Sheriff’s Office, said the call came in shortly after 9 p.m. and deputies responded as a backup. Mulligan said a person believed to be intoxicated was trying to leave and get behind the wheel of a car and there was a physical confrontation with people at the home who were trying to stop him.
The arriving officer and deputy announced their presence and entered the door of the unit at the Park Place Condominiums, where they found the suspect holding a gun and acting despondent. They tried to deescalate the incident with the suspect and ask him to put the firearm down. Instead, the man raised the handgun and pointed it in the direction of the officers, causing both the officer and deputy to fire their weapons.
The suspect, later identified as Dustin Acosta, died at the scene.
“The loss of life is always sad. We never like to see it,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chuck Mulligan said. “The events unfolded the way they did and the officers and deputy felt their lives were threatened and they acted upon self-defense.”
Those who fired shots were identified at St. Augustine Sgt. Kevin Carroll and St. Johns County Deputy Kristapher James. Neither were injured and the Sheriff’s Office said this is the first officer-involved shooting event for both of them. They are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.
Laura Baldwin, who lives next door, heard the gunshots.
“We thought we heard maybe eight, but it happened so fast and then it was over so quickly,” Baldwin said.
Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor St. Augustine police use body cameras, but detectives interviewed several people who were outside the home and saw some of the events unfolding to help with the investigation.
Records show Acosta was arrested a dozen times in the last 10 years in St. Johns County. He was charged multiple times for resisting police and marijuana possession, and one time each for shoplifting, hit-and-run, and reckless driving.