Wife questions why wheelchair-bound husband, 83, was shot 3 times by deputies

The wife of an 83-year-old man said she would like answers after he was shot three times during a shooting involving deputies with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating.

Deputies on Thursday responded to reports of a man wielding a gun inside a Kissimmee gated community.  When they arrived at a residence on Club Villas Ln., they said the man pointed a gun at them and refused to comply with demands to drop the weapon. Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said two deputies fired shots at the man after they believed their safety was in question.  

"We had no idea he even had firearms," said neighbor Aracely Ruiz-Mitchell.  "It was mind-boggling to us."

The wife of the man shot by deputies said he was struck by three bullets and died from his wounds. She said bullet holes can be seen in the electric wheelchair that was used by her husband and the joystick controller is missing.

A witness told FOX 35 News that the man fired a shot at deputies first, which is what Sheriff Lopez stated during a Thursday afternoon news conference. 

"We were shocked. We were not expecting him to do what he did," said neighbor Sally Eaton.

RELATED: Man shot, killed by Osceola County deputies after pointing gun at them, deputies say

Sheriff Marcos Lopez said the deputies showed up after neighbors called 911 complaining that the man was waving a gun around. 

"When these kinds of things happen it's sad, but please, don’t point a firearm at law enforcement."

According to the man’s wife, he was in the military and also volunteered for the city, handing out parking tickets. That's why neighbors are shocked. 

"He was so level-headed. It was so hard to believe," Ruiz-Mitchell explained. "He was one of the first people to welcome us and say hi. You never really know the people you interact with every day. Don’t know what’s going through their mind."

The man's wife said her husband could see and hear well and did not have dementia. They had been married for 65 years.