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Clearwater Police Officer Shoots Man Armed With Gun

10/26/2013 9:13:55 PM

Contact: Rob Shaw

Clearwater Officer Shoots Man Armed With Gun

A Clearwater Police officer shot a man Saturday after the man had expressed suicidal thoughts to a friend earlier in the day.

Police were called to 3018 Merrill Ave. at 4:21 this afternoon after the friend of the man grew concerned about some of the comments he had heard from the individual. The friend had been with the man when he said he had no reason to live because of various problems he was having. The friend called police an hour after leaving the Merrill Avenue residence.

When police arrived on the scene just north of the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex, they tried to establish communication with the man via a cell phone and his house phone. They also used the loudspeaker on a police cruiser outside the residence. All of those efforts were ignored by the man, whom they saw walking around inside the house.

The man then came out of the house armed with a handgun. He refused police commands to drop the weapon. Fearing for their safety, one of the officers fired a single shot at the armed man.

He was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m.

Officer Brian Rogers, who fired the single shot, was not injured in the incident. He was placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine in police-involved shootings. Rogers has been with the department for more than 12 years.

Representatives of the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office and the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney’s Office are on scene with Clearwater homicide detectives investigating the shooting.

The name of the victim will be released once the next of kin has been notified. He is believed to be in his late 60s.