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Orlando officer fatally shoots man armed with knife, police chief says

Mina: Suspect has made threats against police in the past

ORLANDO, Fla. – An officer fatally shot a man who was armed with a knife and making threats Friday, according to Orlando police Chief John Mina.

Officers responded to the Crossings at Conway apartment complex along East Michigan in reference to a call made around 10:45 a.m. from a man who said his son had a warrant out for his arrest and was making comments about having access to explosives.

When officers from the Fugitive Investigative Unit confronted the man, identified Friday evening as 35-year-old Roberto Callejas, he had a large knife to his throat, Mina said.

Officers first used a Taser on Callejas, which worked briefly but then Callejas got back up with a laser.

"Fearing for their lives that it was a laser attached to a firearm, they did shoot at the suspect. The suspect went down, came back up with another knife at the officers, actually attempted to throw that knife at the officers, that's when he was shot again," Mina said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Callejas died as a result of the shooting, which happened at 2:19 p.m. No explosive devices were found in the area.

Mina said that based on evidence and a past encounter with the man, it appeared that he wanted to be killed by a police officer.

"It's interesting to note that we did deal with this subject earlier this year. Same type of situation, right out here, where he was arrested but threatening people with a knife, threatening to kill himself and then was peacefully taken into custody," Mina said, referring to a September incident in which the man threatened officers.

In that incident, Callejas was on his neighbor's porch, armed with a knife and threatening to kill people, according to an OPD field report.

Police said Callejas was aggressive when they arrived on scene and he was still holding a knife in his right hand.

"Callejas told us to back away or someone was going to die," the report said.

Officers tried to calm Callejas down. He told them that he was upset because his cat was dying, his ex-girlfriend didn't want to be in a relationship with him and because authorities had previously committed him to a mental health facility under the Baker Act.

In the earlier incident, Callejas eventually dropped the knife and was taken into custody on an armed trespassing charge, the report said.

A neighbor said Callejas is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Officers noted that Callejas had anti-police signs on his door and told officers that "someone would die" next time.

Carlos Roman told News 6 that he used to live with Callejas and said he struggled emotionally.

"Rob is a loving loving man and it's a shame that he had to go out this way," Roman said. "Peaceful, loving, humble. Just sometimes he was depressed, but other than that, man, he showed me lots of love."

Court documents from the previous incident with police show Callejas' attorney told the judge that Callejas refused to sit for a psychiatric exam. Court records show eventually, Callejas stopped showing up to hearings.

"I couldn't believe it. I thought he would be alright because when I heard, I thought like they were just going to take him away like usual," Roman said.

Mina said the only one officer fired his weapon Friday. He described that officer as a 20-year veteran who has been involved in a shooting in the past.

The officer has been placed on paid administrative while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting, which is standard protocol.


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