Suicidal man shot by Brevard deputy dies, sheriff's office says

Family member called 911 after Ricardo Colon, 35, threatened to kill himself

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist, Adrianna Iwasinski - Investigative Reporter

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A 35-year-old man who threatened to kill himself has died after being shot by a Brevard County Sheriff's Office deputy who responded to a call from a concerned family member, officials with the Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Deputies went to the Grant, Florida, home on Honey Lane at 4:09 p.m. Thursday after a family member called 911 saying that Ricardo Colon was attempting to kill himself. Colon had a "sharp edged weapon that he was using to harm himself," according to a news release.

According to 911 calls released by the Sheriff's Office, Colon had cut his wrist with a box cutter.

A woman who called 911 identified herself as Colon's wife and said he would cut his other wrist if he saw law enforcement officers.

"My husband slit his wrists. He’s bleeding. You need to get here now, right now," she told dispatch.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said Colon was trying to cut his arms when deputies arrived.

When Deputies Kelly Dobson and Jose Santos arrived they made contact with Colon and deployed a stun gun in an attempt to "neutralize the subject's aggressive actions." When that tactic was unsuccessful, one deputy fired their weapon hitting Colon.

Colon was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, but later died of his injuries, BCSO officials said. Department officials have not said which deputy fired the fatal shot or how many times Colon was hit.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Tod Goodyear said Dobson has been with the department since 2001 and Santos has been with BCSO since 2003. Both are on paid administrative leave pending a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation, which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting.

Goodyear said all sworn officers go through mandatory training for calls involving people with mental health issues, including the autism spectrum.

"It also provides training on de-escalation techniques," Goodyear said. "It is an eight-hour class that has both a classroom component and scenario based exercises."

Goodyear said there are other classes that are offered by law enforcement training centers that provide additional training on this subject, but are not mandatory.

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