CLERMONT, Fla. - A Lake County man has died after pointing a gun at a veteran police officer who confronted him Tuesday for smoking at a Clermont playground.
According to investigators, Officer James Rooney approached Joshua Waldron, 21, in a park across from Clermont Elementary about 3 p.m.
Waldron had a blunt commonly used to smoke marijuana, and it was believed he was engaging in illegal activity, police said.
When confronted, police said, Waldron pulled out a gun and pointed it at Rooney, who then fired his weapon.
Initially, police said Waldron fired a shot at Rooney, but those reports appear to have been false.
Police said Waldron fled through a crowded neighborhood into some nearby woods.
Authorities said they later found Waldron in the woods with the gun beside him, seriously hurt but alive. He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he died early Wednesday morning.
It is unknown at this time if Waldron's wound was self-inflicted or caused by Rooney, police said.
Waldron's family and friends intend to hold a vigil in his memory Wednesday night.
“There was a tragedy, and it had to do with my brother,” Waldron’s sister told WFTV.
WFTV learned Waldron had been charged with a few crimes, including drug possession last year.
The mother of his child also took Waldron to court as recently as two months ago for not keeping up with child support.
WFTV also learned Rooney has been with the department about 12 years. He has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.