Armed man shot by Ocala police officers faces charges

OCALA, Fla. — A 23-year-old man who was shot while charging at police with a knife Sunday now faces charges, the Ocala Police Department said Monday.


Police said they were called shortly after 12:15 p.m. Sunday by the man’s relatives, who were taking him to The Vines Hospital.

They said he was acting erratically and fled before he could be admitted to the mental health clinic.

Investigators said they found the man about 15 minutes later at Southwest 27th Avenue.

Read: Police: Officer involved shooting in Ocala leaves subject in critical condition

Police said Monday that they tried to calm down the man, repeatedly ordering him to drop the knife, but he began spraying pepper spray. That is when they shot him.

“In any situation we’re dealing with someone who might be having a mental health episode, we asses them for criteria for Baker Act,” Ocala police Deputy Chief Lou Biondi said Monday during a news conference. “This is a worst-case scenario. None of us wake up in the morning saying, ‘This is the day I’m going to use lethal force on somebody.’”

The man was taken to HCA Florida Ocala Hospital in critical condition.

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Police said later Sunday that he was upgraded to serious condition after undergoing surgery.

They said he must undergo several more medical procedures.

No officers were injured in the shooting, which is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Read: Man charged in deadly shooting at Ocala mall set to face judge Thursday

The officers who shot the man have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol in shootings involving law enforcement.

The man shot who was shot has been charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault and is being watched by a guard 24/7.

Play the video up top to see body-warn camera footage of Sunday’s shooting, and watch Monday’s full news conference below:

See a map of the scene below:

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.

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