Man threatening police with railroad spike shot and killed

PLANT CITY, FL – A man menacing individuals inside a church in Florida was fatally shot by law enforcement officers after non-lethal measures proved ineffective and the man advanced towards the deputies, as per the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident involving the deputies occurred early Tuesday morning, around 2:40 a.m., at the Divine Mercy Prayer Center in Plant City. Body camera footage released by the department depicts the man pacing behind a wrought-iron barrier, growling at the deputies on the scene. The man ignored orders to drop a pointed object he was wielding, later identified as a railroad spike by local media.

The video evidence shows the man forcefully kicking open the metal barrier and charging at the deputies. The officers tried to maintain a safe distance, but the man continued his advance. Both a BolaWrap, a device used to restrain individuals without causing harm, and a Taser were deployed unsuccessfully in an attempt to halt the unidentified man.

Sheriff Chad Chronister praised the deputies’ professionalism, stating that they had utilized every non-lethal option available to them before resorting to fatal force. He emphasized their extensive training and the variety of tools at their disposal to serve and protect the community.

The man, reportedly armed with a pointed object later confirmed to be a railroad spike, was shot by the deputies who feared for their lives. Despite immediate attempts at lifesaving measures, the man did not survive.

The deputies involved in the shooting, Deputy Robert Sanchez, a 17-year veteran of the force, and Deputy Jacob St. John, who has served for 10 months, are currently on administrative leave. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.