Man dies in deputy-involved shooting at Lealman area apartment

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ST. PETERSBURG ­— A Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy shot and killed a man Wednesday at an apartment complex for disabled veterans in the Lealman area of Pinellas County.

The deputy, Tyler Green, was not injured in the encounter.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office withheld the deceased man's name late into the evening, pending notification of next of kin, saying only that he is white and 43 years old.

The shooting occurred at 5:28 p.m. in the Duval Park apartment complex at 4280 Mallory Drive.

Sheriff's deputies got a call from a resident who said his 36-year-old neighbor had come to his apartment after a domestic dispute with her boyfriend, said Maj. David Danzig.

The woman, who has a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, reported the boyfriend was intoxicated and violent. She had scratches on her neck. She told deputies the man would likely be uncooperative with them.

Deputy Green and Deputy Brennen Wede knocked on the woman's apartment door but the boyfriend didn't answer. They knocked again, told him they were from the Sheriff's Office, and he opened the door quickly with a large knife in his hand and went toward Wede, Danzig said.

Danzig said the man shouted, "You're going to have to kill me."

Wede retreated and both deputies drew their firearms and told the man to drop the knife. When he didn't, Green fired multiple rounds from about 7 to 10 feet away, the major said.

The man died at the scene about 5:51 p.m.

"It's one of those circumstances where deputies did what they have to do," Danzig said

Resident Julie Armor said she watched the incident unfold and believes the man was shot four times in the chest.

"They could've shot him in the leg, because it's a knife," Armor said. "It's a knife. It's not a gun."

Duval Park, an 88-unit affordable housing complex, opened last year and provides support services ranging from job placement to temporary financial assistance to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

The project is funded in part by the Pinellas County Housing Authority, along with other private sources.

Under its guidelines, at least 36 of the apartments are supposed to be occupied by low-income veterans with service-related disabilities and 35 by veterans. Some residents receive federal assistance with rent.

Contact LaVendrick Smith at [email protected] or (727) 893-8644. Follow @LaVendrickS.

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