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Tarpon Springs police officer shoots, kills man on bike

Published May 7, 2017

TARPON SPRINGS — An off-duty Tarpon Springs police officer on Saturday shot and killed a man who allegedly had a knife, the department said.

The officer was working a uniformed, off-duty shift at a car show in downtown Tarpon Springs when visitors alerted him to a "suspicious" white man riding a bike in the area, Tarpon Springs police Maj. Jeffrey Young said.

Neither his name, nor the name of the officer, has been released.

The officer approached the bicyclist, who was wearing an orange jacket, near Tarpon and Safford avenues around 1:30 p.m, police said. The officer told on-duty officers over the radio that he had stopped the man and asked for his name and date of birth.

When a search for that name turned up no records, the officer began to wonder whether he had been given a fake name. The man gave another last name. But when the officer repeated it into the radio, he suddenly paused.

"Shots fired, shots fired, shots fired," the officer said, according to the report. "He came at me with a knife."

Officers and rescue personnel can be seen in videos posted on Facebook performing CPR on a man who lay in the street in the middle of the car show. Caution tape was draped around antique cars to isolate the area. Hundreds of people are shown in the video gathering around the scene. Bystanders said they heard three to four shots fired.

The man was taken to Florida Hospital North Pinellas where he was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. The officer was not injured.

The report states there were numerous witnesses to the event.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has opened an investigation with assistance from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office forensics unit.


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