Tamarac, FL – Broward sheriff’s deputies ended a standoff with an armed man who had just shot his girlfriend on Thursday after he pointed his weapon at deputies (video below).
Family and friends have said it was completely out of character for 32-year-old Kimani Pearce to be violent, WPLG reported.
But when police responded to the scene of a domestic violence incident on May 23, Pearce had already shot his girlfriend, 31-year-old Merica Green, the Sun Sentinel reported.
When authorities arrived at the apartment building after the shooting, Pearce refused to allow them inside to treat Green, a woman with whom he has lived for three years.
Cell phone video captured by a neighbor showed Pearce standing on the steps of the building blocking entry to his apartment.
In the video, he was waving his arms and hands around, and appeared to be holding a black gun in his left hand.
“There was one police lady in a car saying, 'Drop the gun. Drop the gun.' He refused. He just stood there for 20 minutes while she was upstairs bleeding," witness Wendy Richland told WPLG.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said that a deputy was forced to shoot the suspect after the man refused to put down his weapon.
"He took it upon himself to stand on the landing and stop our deputies from going in there and safeguarding and treat this individual," Sheriff Tony told reporters. "And only after 20-plus minutes of trying to get this thing to de-escalate, he elected to point his weapon in a hostile manner at our deputies."
Witnesses described a scene that sounded like Pearce was trying to commit suicide-by-cop.
"He was waving a gun around and he was holding it up to his head and saying, 'I can't live anymore. It's not worth living,'" witness Howard Reicher told WPLG.
Witnesses told WPLG that deputies told the suspect to drop his weapon multiple times but Pearce refused to comply with their commands.
In the video, Pearce appeared to move into a shooting stance directed at the officers just before a Broward deputy opened fire.
Once Pearce had been neutralized, medics were able to reach Green and she was airlifted to a nearby hospital, WPLG reported.
Pearce was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The deputy who shot Pearce was a veteran captain with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, according to WPLG.
He and the five other deputies who responded to the scene have been placed on administrative leave, as is protocol for officer-involved shootings.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be investigating the shooting, while Broward detectives will investigate the domestic violence incident that precipitated it, WPLG reported.
Pearce’s family said after the incident that their loved one’s behavior was totally off and they thought he had been experiencing a mental breakdown when he shot Green.
Even his victim defended him.
“He's not an abusive person," Green told WPLG.
She said Pearson was deeply affected by his mother’s death last year.
"He's a loving, caring, supportive, intelligent person and he simply snapped. I just want him to get the help that he needs," Green said.
"If he was in his right state of mind, he would've never harmed me or anyone," she said.
Pearce remains in stable condition at Broward Health Medical Center, according to the Sun Sentinel.
When he is released, he will face charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and numerous counts of aggravated assault on an officer, the Sun Sentinel reported.
See how the incident unfolded in the video below: