LAKE MARY, Fla. - Three Lake Mary police officers who fatally shot a man who pointed a gun at them while they were investigating a road-rage incident have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the officer-involved shooting, according to the Office of the State Attorney.
The shooting happened May 15 around 7:15 p.m. after a driver called 911 saying that 34-year-old David Romansky brandished a gun on Lake Mary Boulevard, near the Shoppes of Lake Mary shopping center.
When Sgt. William Rodwick, Officer Martin Neal and Officer Robert Ritter approached Romansky at the shopping center, he was leaning down behind the wheel of his vehicle, possibly trying to hide, according to the report.
Cellphone video recorded by a witness and turned over to authorities showed Romansky ignoring the commands of the officers surrounding his SUV. In a report from the shooting, officers said Romansky replied, "Hell no" when officers told him to get out of the vehicle and he turned up the volume of the radio to ignore them further.
Officers broke the driver's side window of the SUV so they could open the door and pull Romansky out because they felt the situation was deteriorating.
Moments later, officers started yelling that Romansky had a gun, the video shows.
One of the officers fires two shots, then there's a pause before Romansky points a gun toward the officers, prompting them to fire more shots, the footage shows. Romansky died at the scene, officials said.
During interviews with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which often conducts investigations into officer-involved shootings, all three officers believed that their lives and the lives of citizens in the shopping center were at risk.
"He pointed his gun at me, knowing there was me, two other officers, he turned up the music and refused to talk to us, fought with officers and pointed a gun at us," Ritter said. "I did what I had to do to go home."
Romansky's half-brother can be seen in the video trying to diffuse the situation before the shooting. He told authorities that Romansky sounded intoxicated when he called him to be picked up from the shopping center because he had a flat tire.
He said he knew Romansky disliked law enforcement, but he did not believe he would harm an officer, especially because he was on parole and not supposed to have a gun. He went on to say that he believed Romansky knew officers would shoot him.
"He was going to pull a gun on officers and they were going to do what they were trained to do," Romansky's half-brother said.
He said Romansky seemed happy when they spoke recently but he often got emotional when he drank. He said he felt Romansky "had been drinking, got emotional, and just didn't want to deal with the emotions anymore," the report said.
Romansky's half-brother witnessed the shooting and told authorities that he believed officers did what was necessary to protect themselves and the public.
Based on findings provided by FDLE, the Office of the State Attorney determined on Wednesday that the use of force in the shooting was justified.
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