Police: Man shoots at Clermont officer over cigarette

Officer, shooter ID'd

CLERMONT, Fla. - Authorities are investigating a Clermont police officer-involved shooting that prompted the short-term lockdown of 2 schools on Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities said Officer James Rooney was working routine school traffic duty when he approached Joshua M. Waldron, 21, in the playground of William McKinney Park on Bloxam Avenue and Highland Avenue Tuesday afternoon for smoking, which isn't allowed in the park.

"He saw an individual in McKinney park smoking, he approached the subject through an consensual encounter, at which time the subject drew a weapon, fired at the officer-the officer returned fire, " said Lt. Michael McMaster of Clermont Police Department.

Police said a short chase ensued and Waldrop was found laying on his back with a single gunshot wound to his head. His gun was next to him, police said. He was pronounced dead overnight. It is unknown at this time if his wound was self inflicted or caused by Rooney.

Authorities say both Rooney and Waldron were taken to an area hospital. Rooney was not seriously injured, police said.

Clermont middle and elementary schools stopped loading buses as a result. The lockdown was lifted just after 3:30 p.m.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement will do an investigation. Rooney, a 12 year veteran of CPD, has been put on paid administrative leave pending the investigation results.

Check back for more details on this developing story.

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