LEESBURG, Fla. - Lake County deputies said they had no choice but to shoot a man who lunged at them with a knife outside of a Leesburg home Sunday afternoon, but the man's family said he just needed help.
Deputies said the man, identified as Ronald McLemore, who died of his injuries, had a bat in one hand and a knife in the other when he walked out of the Myer Avenue home.
A Lake County deputy is on paid administrative leave following the shooting near County Road 468.
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Officials said this started with a domestic situation, and when they arrived McLemore refused to follow deputies' orders.
Relatives said they were trying to get McLemore some help.
"He said nobody ain't coming in to get me, in my own house," said family member Lewis Curry.
Curry said he was there when McLemore was shot and killed at the home in Leesburg.
Deputies said McLemore's girlfriend called and asked the sheriff's office for help.
"We were trying to get him to Life Streams. The boy had problems," Curry said.
Deputies said once they arrived, they talked with the girlfriend at the front gate, who gave them more information.
"The suspect had been breaking things at the house. The night before there had been some domestic issues and she had to leave," said Fred Jones, with the Lake County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said they went to the home to talk with McLemore when he met them at the door.
Officials said McLemore was at the top of the porch and they were at the bottom. They said he had a bat in one hand and the other hand was concealed behind the door.
"They gave him orders to show his hands and he would not show his hands," Jones said. "He lunged through the threshold of the door, towards the deputies. And that's when they deputies felt their lives were in jeopardy."
Family members are questioning whether McLemore should have been shot.
"My nephew could not have hurt that cop. His life was not in danger. He opened fire on him and he killed him," Curry said. "He was a good guy. He didn't deserve to die and get shot."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting and could not release any details.
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