BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal deputy-involved shooting that appeared to be the result of a suicide-by-law enforcement attempt, according to investigators.
Four deputies responded to Brennity at Melbourne Senior Living, located at 7405 Orchestra Lane in Viera Wednesday around 6:40 a.m. after receiving reports of a male who was threatening to harm himself.
“When our team arrived they started to enter the building and they were met by a member of the staff who had actually been in with the individual, told him he had a gun,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said at a news conference. “As our team was trying to stage to go in, they hear a single gunshot and at that point they make entry. (The deputies) encounter an individual there at the facility that had a gun in his hand, was morning the gun around, at several points was pointing the gun in their direction, and they, unfortunately, had to take action and the individual was shot and pronounced dead a short time later.”
The male was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased, according to a news release.
The Sheriff’s Office confirmed the man was a resident living at the facility.
“It’s a very sad moment for not only our agency but for the individual and their family as well,” Ivey said. “Obviously when you see something like this, the thoughts of suicide by cop, (and there) is a pretty good indicator that that was his direct intention based on some of the other evidence that we’re starting to pull together - we have a good, strong indication of that.”
Department officials said the man will be transported to the Brevard County Medical Examiner’s Office where a post mortem examination will be conducted.
“The deputy is being placed on administrative leave, as is always our protocol and policy,” Ivey said. “Right now our thoughts and prayers and with the individual, his family and our deputies that unfortunately had to be involved in this.”
News 6 has requested a copy of the deputy’s personnel file from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators have not yet released the man’s name who was killed nor the deputy’s name who opened fire.
A property spokesperson at the Brennity at Melbourne Senior Living Center told News 6 that all residents and workers are safe and they’re cooperating with local authorities. They’re asking for privacy during this time.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.