The family of the man shot and killed by St. Petersburg police on Sunday say he didn't have to die.
Arthur Dixon, Jr. was shot multiple times by officers. Police had responded to a home in the 5400 block of 4th Ave. North at about 6:10 p.m. They had received a call from a woman who said that Dixon, her son, was at the address and was threatening suicide.
Upon arrival officers, made contact with Dixon, who was inside the house and refusing to let the officers inside. Dixon had doused himself with gasoline and was holding a lighter threatening to ignite himself.
A perimeter was established around the house and officers negotiated with him through an open window.
"The police assured me they weren't going to hurt him; they were concerned for his safety," said Dixon's mother, Lydia Andrews. "They forced him out of the house, and they shot him three times."
Police say Dixon remained belligerent and threatening throughout the time officers attempted to speak with him.
At approximately 7:30 p.m., Dixon left the front window and ran out the rear door of the house into the back yard, where two officers were stationed.
Dixon had a pair of scissors in his hand. He raised them in a threatening manner, officials said, as he continued to approach the officers.
According to police, the officers drew their firearms, gave Dixon several warning to halt and attempted to retreat backwards. However, he continued to advance to a point where both officers discharged their weapons.
Dixon was struck in the upper torso and immediately fell to the ground. After being treated by paramedics, he was transported to Bayfront Medical Center as a trauma alert. Dixon died just after 10 p.m. Sunday night.
Andrews says officers did not have to shoot her son.
"I want to know why they shot him, he had no weapons," Andrews said. "Why? And he was drunk. He has a traumatic brain injury, he is blind in one eye and can see well out of the other.
"Why did they shoot him?"
The St. Petersburg Police Department issued a statement about the shooting:
"The officers drew their firearms, gave the subject several warnings to halt and attempted to retreat backwards; however the subject continued to advance to a point where both officers discharged their weapons," the statement said.
St. Petersburg Police spokesman Mike Puetz said the officers were out of options.
"I think we made every effort we could to try to negotiate a peaceful end," he said. "Unfotunately, it appears this man did not want to follow through with that."
The officers involved in the shooting, Devin Jones, 27, and Curtis Wright, 30, will be placed on administrative leave pending further investigation by both the Investigative Services Bureau and Internal affairs Unit of the St. Petersburg Police Department as well the Pinellas/Pasco State Attorney's Office.