Deputy fatally shoots man after he pulls weapon, claimed to have killed 3 people

One person is dead after a situation that unfolded shortly after midnight in Charlotte Harbor Monday morning.

According to Sheriff’ Bill Prummell, three 911 calls were received about a driver going the wrong way on US 41.

One of the callers followed the driver, George Smith, 72, of Arcadia into the McDonald’s parking lot at 4695 Tamiami Trail, concerned he could be suffering from a medical episode.

Prummell said the caller got out of her car and began talking with Smith. According to the caller, Smith said he was trying to drive to a police station because he wanted them to shoot him… or he was going to shoot them.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office on scene of deputy shooting

She said Smith went on to say he just killed three people, but CCSO has not been able to verify that statement or find any victims.

The caller relayed everything Smith was saying to 911 dispatch.

“He stated that he was armed and had a long-rifle in the front seat of his car” Prummell said. “He told her it was an AK-47 and was planning on using it when law enforcement arrived.”

As deputies arrived to the scene Smith asked the woman to leave because he didn’t want to see her get hurt, as he began to remove the rifle from his car, CCSO said.

Deputies began telling him to put the rifle down. When he didn’t comply, deputies fired three beanbag rounds at┬áSmith, but it didn’t him.

Prummell says Smith then raised the rifle toward a deputy and slide the bolt, which was seen by another deputy from a different angle. That deputy fired at Smith four times.

After striking Smith, deputies attempted to resuscitate him and he was transported to the hospital where he later died.

Both deputies involved that discharged their firearms have been placed on administrative leave, as a matter of standard protocol. One deputy fired a lethal shot and the did not.

CCSO says they have not had any prior interaction with Smith and no others were injured.

Writer:Derrick Shaw
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