• Man killed by police was armed with pellet gun; Eustis officer was hit by ricochet bullet

    By: Jason Kelly

    Updated:

    A 21-year-old man was fatally shot and a 41-year-old Eustis police officer was shot in the leg Wednesday afternoon at an AutoZone store, the Eustis Police Department said.

    Shortly before 3 p.m., Dillan Shane Ezell walked into the Bay Street store armed with what police thought was a handgun, so they evacuated the store, Eustis police spokesman Jim Franquiz said.

    Ezell walked out of the store and made the sign of the cross while raising the gun, Franquiz said. Police said they shot Ezell after he didn't obey their orders.

    Investigators said Thursday that Ezell was armed with a pellet gun and that Toler was struck by a fellow officer's bullet that ricocheted off a concrete pylon.

    Photos: Police shooting at Eustis AutoZone

    Investigators said Ezell died while being taken to a hospital. It's unknown how many times he was shot.

    Eustis police Sgt. Kenneth Toler was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in stable condition, Franquiz said. He has since been released.

    Ezell, who lived with his mother and grandmother, was unable to find a job and had been suffering from severe depression, said Jeff Ezell, the man's uncle.

    A suicide note was discovered taped to a computer at the home, which is several blocks from the store.

    "I think his plan was to try to end his life," Jeff Ezell said. "He knew that that would happen."

    Ezell's grandmother had tried to secure insurance coverage to get him counseling, Jeff Ezell said.

    Read: ‘He’s extremely strong’: Orlando officer who was shot remains critical

    Eustis Police Department
    Jeffrey Ezell

    Read: Florida’s gun laws: How have they changed after the Parkland shooting?

    "He needed help, and he just didn't get a chance to get it and he does this," he said. "He was a good kid."

    Jeff Ezell said his nephew had access to a BB gun.

    Three officers were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard in police shootings.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.

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