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Deputies Shoot Gunman Who Tried To Enter Publix Store, Stopping Potential Mass-Casualty Incident

Greenacres, FL – Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies stopped a potential shooting outside a Greenacres grocery store on Monday evening.

The incident began at approximately 6:05 p.m. on Sept. 26, when the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBCSO) received a report of a “suspicious person wielding a firearm” in a Publix parking lot located in the 4800-block of South Military Trail, the sheriff’s office said in a press release on Tuesday.

As deputies were responding to the scene, the suspect allegedly fired multiple rounds into the air, according to the PBCSO.

Deputies began arriving at the parking lot at 6:20 p.m. and immediately started taking up strategic positions before they ultimately made contact with the suspect.

“He puts the gun up to his head a couple of times and takes it down,” Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said during a press conference later in the evening. “He is obviously agitated.”

As they were trying to “negotiate and deescalate the situation,” the gunman allegedly began waving his gun “in a threatening manner,” the PBCSO said.

He also allegedly attempted to enter the store with the 9mm handgun, which police said was equipped with a “high-capacity magazine,” WPBF reported.

That’s when one of the deputies fired his duty weapon, “striking the male and neutralizing the threat,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The suspect, described as an approximately 21-year-old male with a history of involuntary institutionalizations, was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition. He later died at the hospital.

“They decided that they are going to go ahead and neutralize the threat involved not only to him but before he gets back into Publix,” Sheriff Bradshaw said. “He is in the hospital now. I don’t have an update on his condition but from what I understand he received either one or two gunshot wounds.”

No one else was injured during the incident.

“They spent 20 minutes to try to talk this guy out of doing anything stupid, but I guess he wasn’t going to have it,” Sheriff Bradshaw told reporters. “They did everything by the book it looks like right now, and they certainly did not put the public in jeopardy by letting this guy get back in the Publix.”

State Attorney’s Office investigators and detectives from the PBCSO’s Violent Crimes unit are handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting.

The deputy who shot the suspect has been placed on paid admirative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, as per protocol.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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