Man shot by Eustis police told store employees he had a gun, to call police

Dillan Ezell had pellet gun; officer hit by ricocheted police bullet

LAKE COUNTY, Fla.A man fatally shot by Eustis police Wednesday walked into an Auto Zone and told employees he was armed and to call police, according to new details released by the department.

When police arrived at the Bay Street Auto Zone employees left the store through the back exit and police surrounded the business, Det. Robert Simken said in a news release a day after the shooting.

Dillan Ezell, 21, walked out of the store with what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun. Later, police said they learned it was a pellet gun.

Police said Ezell crossed his chest marking the Holy Trinity with his left hand and raised the handgun with his right hand. Three officers opened fire on Ezell, who dropped the gun as he fell to the ground.

Police said Ezell was shot again when he began to reach over his body for the gun. 

Officers administered first aid to Ezell and Emergency Medical Services took the 21-year-old to Florida Hospital Waterman where he died.

During the shooting, Officer Kenny Toler was struck in the leg when a bullet bounced off a concrete pylon, according to police. Toler was taken to the hospital and released in good health.


Eustis police said four officers were involved in the shooting: Toler, Capt. Shane McSheehy, Capt. Gary Winheim and another officer whose name has not been released.

McSheehy, Winheil and the unnamed officer have been employed with the Eustis Police Department since 1996. The officers are on administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.

According to FDLE and previous News 6 reporting, the Eustis officer-involved shooting marks the 20th this year in the Central Florida area.

About the Author: