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Tampa officer fires on man holding rifle in street, police say

The 57-year-old turned and aimed an air rifle at two Tampa officers but survived the encounter, according to police.
A Tampa police officer fired on a man holding this long gun while standing in the road near the intersection of North 22nd Street and East Hamilton Avenue on Wednesday, police said. The man was not hit and was taken into custody.
A Tampa police officer fired on a man holding this long gun while standing in the road near the intersection of North 22nd Street and East Hamilton Avenue on Wednesday, police said. The man was not hit and was taken into custody. [ Tampa Police Department ]
Published Mar. 18
Updated Mar. 19

TAMPA — An officer fired at — but did not hit — a man accused of aiming an air rifle at two officers on Wednesday, according to Tampa police.

But while 57-year-old Isaac Denmark escaped injury, he did not escape arrest. He faces two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, according to Tampa police.

The agency gave this account of the incident, which took place about 10 p.m. Wednesday on N 22nd Street near E Hamilton Avenue in Old Seminole Heights.

Two officers in a marked patrol vehicle were heading south on N 22nd Street when they encountered a man walking in the middle of the street while holding what appeared to be a rifle, according to a report.

Officers got out of the car and ordered Denmark to drop the gun, police said. Instead, the report said, Denmark turned toward the officers, began to shoulder the scoped rifle and pointed it in their direction.

Isaac Junior Denmark, 57, was arrested on Wednesday after Tampa police say he pointed an air rifle at two officers, according to an arrest report. The gun turned out to be an air rifle.
Isaac Junior Denmark, 57, was arrested on Wednesday after Tampa police say he pointed an air rifle at two officers, according to an arrest report. The gun turned out to be an air rifle. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]

One of the officers fired at least once at the man. The man was not struck, police said, but dropped the rifle and was taken into custody. No one was injured.

Police determined the weapon was a Crossman Legacy 1000 air rifle that shoots pellets, according to the report.

After he was read his rights, police said Denmark said he knew the officers had ordered him to drop his air rifle, knew it looked like a real weapon and and acknowledged turning around and intentionally pointing it at them.

Tampa police did not release the names of the officers involved. One was a 28-year-old man with four years on the force. The other was a 38-year-old woman with a year of experience. Officials did not say which officer fired. Both officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard after an officer is involved in a shooting situation.

Denmark was booked into the Hillsborough County jail and was being held there Thursday in lieu of $15,000 bail.