Lakeland, FL – Polk County deputies fatally shot a man during an “active shooter” at a trailer park on Friday night after the convicted felon opened fire on his neighbors and threatened “suicide by cop,” according to the sheriff’s office.
The incident began at 6:07 p.m. on June 3, when a woman called 911 to report her husband, 56-year-old Michael Alan Loman, was shooting a rifle inside their trailer house located at 3925 Combee Road, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said in a press release.
Loman’s wife said her husband threatened to kill her and any deputies who might show up at the house, and that he also talked about committing “suicide by cop,” the sheriff’s office said.
She later told deputies her husband had been drinking earlier in the evening.
The 911 dispatcher reported hearing gunfire during the call.
A neighbor told deputies he saw Loman shooting wildly outside his home, and that he even “heard a bullet passing near where he was standing” at one point, the PCSO said.
Loman’s wife was still on the phone with the 911 dispatcher prior to the deputies’ arrival when the suspect reentered the house and told his wife he “needed to reload,” according to the press release.
While he was in a back bedroom, she seized the opportunity to flee the house.
Loman’s wife was met outside by responding deputies at approximately 6:18 p.m.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the deputies found her hiding behind a pickup truck and immediately moved her to safety because they knew they were heading into a gunfight.
Moments later, Loman barged out onto the front porch with a rifle, according to the PCSO.
“Deputies told Loman to drop the rifle multiple times,” the sheriff’s office said. “He did not.”
Four of the five deputies at the scene responded by opening fire on the convicted felon.
“We shot him a lot,” Sheriff Judd said during a press conference on Friday night. “He chose for us to shoot him, and we accommodated his request.”
Sheriff Judd said the deputies who shot Loman all used AR-15s, but the number of rounds fired during the incident is still under investigation.
It is unclear whether or not the suspect fired his gun at the deputies before he was shot, Sheriff Judd said.
Loman was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the PCSO.
None of the deputies were injured during the incident.
Sheriff Judd told reporters there was no time to try to negotiate with the gunman due to the nature of the threat.
“When you’ve already engaged as an active shooter and shot at people and shot in the house and threatened to kill your wife and threatened to kill the deputies and you brandish your firearm in the direction of the deputies, they’re gonna shoot you. Shoot you a lot,” he said. “That’s what they’re trained to do. That’s what they’re instructed to do. They’re not going to sit there and hold a conversation with a guy with a firearm. It’s too late, too bad for him. It’s his choice.”
Loman was previously convicted of felony cocaine possession, misdemeanor domestic violence battery, and two driving while suspended/revoked charges.
The PCSO identified the deputies who fired their weapons during the encounter as 33-year-old Deputy Naiem Ali, a four-year veteran of the department, 33-year-old Deputy Brian Bates, a 10-year department veteran, 21-year-old Deputy Michael Kohler, a two-year veteran of the PCSO, and 31-year-old Deputy Adam Pennell, who has been with the sheriff’s office for more than eight years.
The PCSO Bureau of Criminal Investigations is handling the investigation into Loman’s death.
The PCSO Administrative Investigations Unit is conducting an internal investigation, and the State’s Attorney’s Office will conduct an independent review.