Eustis police officer shot, suspect dead after gunfire outside store

Shooting reported at Auto Zone on South Bay Street

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter, Keith Dunlap - Graham Media Group

EUSTIS, Fla. - Officials with the Eustis Police Department said one of their officers was shot in the leg Wednesday and a suspect was dead after gunfire was reported outside a store.

Police said the shooting happened at Auto Zone South Bay Street. When officers were called to the business, employees were evacuated and police surrounded the building, Eustis police Officer Jim Franquiz said.

At some point, the suspect, 21-year-old Dillian Shane Ezell, came out of the store holding what officers said appeared to be a gun and made the gesture of the cross across his chest, police said.

"At that time, there were shots fired," Franquiz said.

Police Officer Kenny Toler and the suspect were taken to hospitals.

Ezell died of his injuries, police said.

Police said Toler was struck in the leg and is in stable condition.

"He gave my mother a hug, told her goodbye said just going for a walk something like that," Jefferey Ezell, the suspect's uncle said. "She thought it was really odd the way he had said his departure today going for a walk."

Jeffery Ezell says his nephew had been battling depression for quite some time, and that he had left a note on his computer before leaving the house Wednesday afternoon.

"He never got a chance to seek treatment (and) he might of had the BB gun tucked," Jeffery Ezell said. "Nobody had any indication what he was going to do."

Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Lake County Sheriff's Office are also investigating the shooting.

News 6 is headed to the scene. Check back for updates.

A map of the Auto Zone where a Eustis police officer was shot in the leg.

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