LAKELAND, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating a deputy-involved shooting that occurred Friday morning at 10:30 a.m.
- Armed suspect shot, killed by deputy
- Suspect pointed gun at deputy
- Grady Judd calling this suicide-by-cop
The shooting happened at a home on Saddlehorn Drive in Lakeland.
The sheriff's office received a call from the homeowner, 60-year-old Kenneth Layton, about a suspicious person banging on his door and trying to get inside. Layton also said he believed the man had a gun.
Deputy Chad Nichols, a 15-year veteran, arrived at the home and attempted to make contact with Layton at the front door when he saw Layton inside with a gun in his hand.
As Nichols began to back away from the home, authorities said Layton followed him and pointed his gun at the deputy despite commands from Nichols to drop his gun.
Nichols fired a single shot, hitting the suspect in the chest. Layton was transported to the hospital and died shortly after.
"This appears to be a classic example of suicide-by-cop. There is no evidence at this point in the investigation that there was ever anybody trying to get inside his house. Our deputy had no choice but to shoot him. I feel bad for this man's family and friends, but I am happy our deputy was not hurt."
A neighbor told deputies that Layton lost his wife two months ago to cancer and was suffering from depression.
Deputies are working to determine if that played a part in his behavior.
The investigation remains ongoing.
This is a developing story and more information will be provided as it becomes available.