Clearwater police chief justifies deadly officer-involved shooting

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Two Clearwater police officers are on paid administrative leave after they shot and killed a man who was reportedly armed and dangerous. 

According to the Clearwater Police Department, several people reported feeling threatened by Bryan Bernard Wallace, 39, who was waving a gun near a crowd on North M.L.K. Jr. Avenue and LaSalle Street on Saturday evening.

“We have to be involved, we have to restore order, and we have to protect the public,” said Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter.

The two responding officers found Wallace about 30 minutes after the initial complaint.

Investigators said Wallace’s gun fell from his waistband. He reached to pick it up despite orders from law enforcement to stop.

The officers said they fired at Wallace because they were in fear for their lives.

Slaughter said these kinds of situations are dangerous for everyone involved.

“They are volatile, and we do everything we can to diffuse them, deescalate them, and try to get them to restore order,” he said.

Wallace died from his injuries. 

The Clearwater Police Department and the State Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident.