ST. PETERSBURG — A man armed with a 10-inch kitchen knife was shot and critically wounded by an officer in a confrontation that unfolded Tuesday on a pedestrian bridge overlooking Interstate 275, according to St. Petersburg police.
The man was reported to be in critical condition and taken to a local hospital for treatment. No one else was reported injured in the confrontation.
The incident started at about 12:55 p.m., police said, when a resident called police to report a “suspicious man" wielding a long kitchen knife atop the pedestrian walkway at 27th Avenue N, west of 20th Street N.
The man was pacing along the bridge, police said, and didn’t respond when officers tried to talk to him. Officers cordoned off the bridge and called in hostage negotiators to try to communicate with him. They brought in a Spanish-speaking officer in case the man did not speak English.
It was about 45 minutes later when police said the knife-wielding man started approaching the officers. He ignored their commands to stop, police said.
St. Petersburg Police Chief Tony Holloway said his officers tried to subdue the man by using a shotgun to fire a pepper-spray round at him, then a bean-bag round.
Both methods failed, so the chief said an officer shot the approaching man.
No other details were released by police. Officials did not release the name of the wounded man or the officer who shot him.
Later, the man spoke English to paramedics who treated him at the scene.