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Tampa International Airport officer shoots man, who then jumps from parking garage

Published Oct. 29, 2013

TAMPA — An airport police officer fired shots Monday at a man who lunged at him in the Tampa International Airport long-term parking garage.

When the officer fired at him, the man jumped from the fourth floor of the garage. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office said the man sustained bullet wounds.

Airport officials describe the incident this way: The officer approached the man about 4:30 p.m. on the eighth floor of the short-term parking garage. The man said he was watching planes. A background check revealed the man was a sex offender for whom Pinellas officials were about to issue an arrest warrant, according to his probation officer. The probation officer also said a shotgun was missing from the home of the man's mother, with whom he lived.

About 5 p.m., the airport police officer found the man sitting in his car with a gun in his mouth on the fourth floor of the long-term parking garage. The officer ordered the man to put down the gun. The man got out of his car and lunged at the officer, who fired at him. The man then jumped from the parking garage, officials said.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. The identity of the dead man is being withheld until his family is notified of his death.

More details about the incident were unavailable late Monday.