Columbia County deputy shoots armed man

Sheriff's Office says armed suspect threatened deputy, attempted to run

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LAKE CITY, Fla. - A Columbia County Sheriff's deputy is on administrative leave after shooting an armed man in Lake City early Friday morning.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to 315 N.W. Lamar Place about 1 a.m. in reference to a man who was armed and threatening to harm himself and law enforcement. Deputies encountered the subject in the front yard of his home and observed that he was armed with a handgun.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office SWAT team and Crisis Negotiation Unit were requested to respond to the scene. Before those agencies could arrive, the man attempted to run past deputies, towards neighboring homes. Knowing of the threats made by the subject, a deputy fired one round from his issued shotgun, striking the subject once.

According to a report from the Sheriff's Office, Justin Ferguson, 36, was alert and talking when EMS units arrived. He was transported to UF Health for medical treatment. Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter requested the investigative assistance of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to ensure that a transparent investigation into the shooting will be conducted. The FDLE Crime Scene Unit will also be assisting in the investigation.

The report goes on to say that the deputy who fired at the suspect has been placed on administrative leave in accordance with Sheriff's Office procedures.

Additional information will be released as soon as the investigation by FDLE is completed.

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