POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A Lakeland man threatened to kill both himself and deputies in Lakeland Friday evening, leading to an officer-involved shooting that resulted in his death, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Judd said in a news briefing later Friday evening that the wife of 56-year-old Michael Loman called the sheriff’s office after her husband reportedly threatened to kill himself and deputies.
Deputies responded to the call at Ten Rocks Mobile Home Park, where Loman was found shooting a rifle both inside and outside his home, Judd said.
Judd commented that deputies also found the wife hiding behind a truck, after which they moved her behind an oak tree for “safety.”
According to Judd, Loman stated he needed to reload his gun so he could kill his wife and the deputies.
The sheriff said after Loman came back out from the home, deputies “shot him a lot, and that was the end of the gunfight.”
Deputies said neighbors — some of whom were outside at the time of the shooting — reported afterward that Loman had been out shooting before deputies arrived at the scene.
Judd said an ongoing investigation is looking into whether deputies or Loman fired first.
“We’re checking to see whether or not he discharged his weapon first or whether he only brandished it, and that’s when we shot,” he said.
According to Judd, Loman had been arrested previously on a drug-related felony charge as well as three misdemeanors.
“It’s important to note that we were told that he had been drinking alcoholic beverages this evening,” he said. “That is still under investigation. We were told that, (but) we need to confirm that with our investigation.”
Judd also said that deputies did not try to converse with Loman, as it was “too late.”
“When you’ve already engaged as an active shooter and shot at people and shot in the house and threatened to kill your wife and threatened to kill the deputies, and you brandish a firearm in the direction of the deputies, they’re gonna shoot you — shoot you a lot,” he said. “That’s what they’re trained to do. That’s what they’re instructed to do. They’re not gonna sit there and hold a conversation with a guy with a firearm.”
This is an ongoing investigation. News 6 will provide updates as they become available.