Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Prosecutors: St. Pete cops justified in fatal Labor Day shooting

ST. PETERSBURG — A group of police officers were performing their legal duty when they shot and killed a man they said pointed a gun at them from his front porch on Labor Day, prosecutors said this week.

In a letter sent to Police Chief Chuck Harmon on Thursday, Pinellas Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe said officers Nicolo Mangiaracina, Michael Romano and Justin Morales "had reason to believe that Ronald Sexton posed a danger of great bodily harm or death to Officer Mangiaracina when they fired their weapons."

At about 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 2 , a neighbor told police Sexton, 23, of St. Petersburg, pulled a gun and was beating on his door. Police said Sexton was taunting the neighbor and the neighbor's pitbull

When officers arrived at Sexton's home at 4412 10th Ave. N., they told Sexton to get on the ground. He began to comply but then pulled out his gun and pointed it at one of the officers.

All three officers fired their guns, totalling 17 shots.

At the time of the shooting, family members told Tampa Bay Times reporters they believed officers acted too quickly in killing Sexton.The officers remain on administrative duty while the department completes an internal review.

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