Deputies shoot man armed with ax, knife outside Walmart

Suspect tried to run over deputies, officials say

ORLANDO, Fla. – Two Orange County sheriff's deputies shot a man who was armed with a 9-inch knife and an ax when he tried to run them over with his vehicle, officials said.

The shooting was reported at 12:23 p.m. Tuesday outside the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Chickasaw Trail and Lake Underhill Road, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they were called because Abraham Canaan, 51, had been knocking over items inside the store.

Officials said two women accused Canaan of stalking them. He also might have been stalking another woman, who works at the store.

He had also been at the store earlier Tuesday morning, deputies said. Details on that encounter were not provided.

Canaan was confronted by two deputies when he left the store, but refused to follow their commands to drop his knife, authorities said. Instead he fled to his car, which was parked behind the store. Officials said Canaan was shot because he tried to run over the deputies with his vehicle.

Canaan stopped his car on Chickasaw Trail and deputies once again gave him verbal commands. The deputies pulled Canaan out of his car and began rendering first aid.

Along with the knife, an ax was found inside Canaan's car, deputies said. 

Officials said he was shot in the torso; it's unknown how many times. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries.

The deputies, identified as Matthew Velazquez and Joe Farias-Rios, were not injured, Orange County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jane Watrel said. They will be put on administrative leave for at least a week and then reassigned to administrative duties while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting.

One deputy was on duty and responded to the call within about three minutes, officials said. The other deputy was off duty, but responded to assist when he heard the call on his radio.

One woman who spoke with News 6 said she’s still nervous after the incident Tuesday afternoon. She had been with her daughter and her 16-month-old grandson when Canaan started yelling at them in the meat section of the Walmart store.

“I wanted to get them as far away from the store, because you don't know. You don't know what he had -- a gun (or) a knife,” the woman said.

Added the woman's daughter, "(Canaan) was like, ‘Get the F out of the store.’ I looked at my mom. We looked at each other. He kicks the back door, to get into the back, where the meat department is. That's when the woman started screaming, ‘Lock the door. Lock the doors.’"

The family started running to the front of the store, leaving what groceries they had behind.

"I was telling the cashiers, ‘Something bad is happening in the back. You need to get out now,’" one of the women said.

When they were finally out of the store, they saw Canaan again. This time, he was in a car.

"We saw the car zooming in front of us, and I looked at the car, and I saw him through the front window,” one of the women said. “And I was like, ‘That’s him. That’s him.’"

The mother and daughter pointed Canaan out to the deputies, which helped them get results.