FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A knife-wielding man who made threats and refused to drop his weapon was fatally shot when he lunged toward a sheriff’s deputy outside a South Florida strip mall, investigators said.
Broward Sheriff Greg Tony told news outlets that Jeffrey Guy Sacks, 26, died at a hospital following the incident Thursday night.
The sheriff said Sacks was carrying a knife when he went into a Ross department store in North Lauderdale after 9 p.m. Thursday. Multiple callers to 911 told dispatchers the man, who had been pacing back and forth inside the store, had cut himself with the knife.
A deputy arrived and the man left the store and began making threats toward himself and the deputy, according to Tony.
The man was told to drop the knife, but instead he ran toward the deputy, the sheriff said.
The deputy then fired several rounds, hitting the man, Tony said.
“The deputy backed away as a tactical maneuver to try to deescalate,” Tony said. He said the shots came as the deputy tried to defend himself.
“I can tell you that an individual armed with a knife, we do not train individual deputies to respond with a lesser use of force. A taser is a lesser use of force. In that case, a knife is deadly force,” Tony said.
A video taken by someone in the parking lot was turned over to investigators, the sheriff said.
“To a certain degree, we were fortunate to have an individual who witnessed this and captured it on their phone and was able to cooperate and talk to our investigators, so we have a chance to see this independently transpire, and I think our deputy did an outstanding job trying to deescalate this,” Tony said.
Court records show that Sacks was white. Officials didn’t immediately identify the deputy involved in the shooting.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is taking charge of the investigation. Officials said the deputy has been placed on administrative leave.