MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A football and cheer practice was cut short Tuesday night after a Marion County sheriff's deputy shot an armed suspect fleeing a traffic stop, sending families into a panic.
A mother, who wants to protect her identity, says the shooting left her son traumatized.
"We heard three, possibly four, gunshots. Everybody stood there kind of just looking around like, ‘Oh, my God, what just happened?’" she recalled.
Before the shooting, the deputy had pulled the man over near the corner of Emerald Road and Southeast Maricamp Road.
The man, identified as 26-year-old Rasheem Edwards, was driving an unregistered dirt bike without any lights on, according to the sheriff's office, and tried to run.
"While he's running away, he's trying to reach for a weapon that he had on him. [He] pulls a weapon out as if to attack the deputy with the firearm. And when he does, it comes flying out of his grip and lands on the ground," Lt. Paul Bloom said.
At that moment, he says, citing a body-camera video that hasn't yet been released, Edwards got down to pick up the gun and tried again to point it at the deputy.
"The deputy at that point backs up a few steps and unfortunately has to shoot him to save his own life," Bloom said.
While it was too close for comfort, the mother tells FOX 35 she's thankful no one else was hurt.
"They did shoot towards the kids, but the man was running towards the kids and the family with a gun, so the officer really had no choice but to protect not only himself but everybody else," she said.
Edwards died from his injuries at the hospital.
According to court records, he was charged and convicted this summer in Marion County for giving a deputy a fake name during a traffic stop and not having a valid driver's license. At the time, he also had an active parole violation warrant out of New York for attempted robbery.