SARASOTA, Fla. - Sarasota deputies say they were forced to shoot a man armed with a gun during a domestic disturbance call.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office received a call around 1 a.m. about a couple fighting loudly and possible gunshots at the Palms and Pines Mobile Home Park on Tamiami Trail.
When deputies arrived, the suspect, identified as 65-year-old Mark Richard Coleman, was on top of his screaming wife.
The deputy made verbal commands for Coleman to get off of the woman, but said he did not comply.
That's when investigators said Coleman then pulled out a handgun.
Sheriff Tom Knight said a third person, an unidentified woman, intervened and tried to grab Coleman. During the struggle, Coleman pointed his gun at the deputy, forcing the deputy to open fire and shoot Coleman, killing him.
Knight emphasized the need for citizens to stay out of the way of law enforcement when they're trying to de-escalate a situation.
"These deputies and the police officers rely on their training and the way they're trained at work," Knight explained. "Having a citizen get involved doesn't help because we're trained to de-escalate it.
He then added, "We can't say for certain if that caused the shooting, but it certainly is not a good thing for citizens to get involved especially when law enforcement is on the scene. Let us handle it."
The deputy involved has been placed on routine paid administrative leave.