ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orlando Police Chief John Mina says it's not a good idea to point a gun of any kind at an officer, be it a real gun, or a BB gun, as was the case on Thursday.
Chief Mina says officers had to do something right away, after 26-year-old Alexander Proctor shot two customers with his new BB gun at a Walmart on Princeton Street on Thursday.
"When they got there, officers learned Mr. Proctor pointed a BB gun and shot at least one person, striking that person in the chest and the arm," Mina explained. "We are unclear of what he was thinking."
The chief says Officer Craig Adler tried stopping Proctor as he ran away along John Young Parkway.
"He did give verbal commands, but as soon as he got out of the car, Mr. Proctor pointed the BB gun at him so he had to take action."
Mina says the officer had no choice, firing his real gun at the man with a BB gun.
"Officers have to make those split-second decisions, and certainly pointing any kind of weapon at any person -- and especially a law enforcement officer -- is the wrong thing to do."
Proctor is in critical, but stable, condition at the hospital. Chief Mina says officers treated him on scene with a medical kit and helped save his life. We asked the chief is there was a less lethal way to take him down.
"That's all part of the investigation, and again, we're talking about a person who wasn't just carrying this BB gun, simulated firearm, replica firearm, that looks very much like a real gun. He was actually using it on people."
The officer wasn't injured. Chief Mina says Proctor has prior police run-ins in two other states and also has mental health issues.