COCOA, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Shortly before being shot by a Cocoa police officer, Keith Seal made a bizarre call to 911, authorities say. He asked for officers to go check on his friend, who called him for help.
"Right before the phone got hung up the one girl goes 'We got problems. I think it's my ex-husband,' and he had already kidnapped her and beat her for 11 hours," Seal told the 911 dispatcher.
Cocoa Police say that call was made at 4:33 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Minutes later, Seal's neighbors were calling 911 reporting gunshots.
"We just heard the cop asking, 'Where's the gun? Where's the gun?' and the guy's like, 'I don't have anything sir, I promise!' He keeps asking, 'Where's the gun? Where's the gun?' He's like, 'What's the in your hand?' 'It's a phone,'" a neighbor who did not want to identify herself told FOX 35.
Steven Finch says he ran out the door after a quick series of gunshots.
"I heard someone screaming 'Help me!' and when I came around the corner I saw the officer standing over the gentleman and the gentleman was screaming 'Help! Oh God. I'm sorry!'"
Finch says he was standing in the street as officers drove up.
"The first officer told the second officer the man had charged him and he was holding something and that's why he fired upon him," said Finch.
Cocoa Police's spokesperson says Officer Xvevies Baez shot 54-year-old Keith Seal.
"He shot through his windshield. So whatever the circumstances were, it cause him to react in that manner before even exiting his vehicle," said Yvonne Martinez.
The owner of the company Seal has been working for 13 years came out to the area where he had been shot this morning to look around. She's got lots of question about the shooting.
"Why? Why when our employee was trying to help someone?" said Marla Ball.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting.
"Obviously, they're going to interview the person shot, obviously they're going to talk to the officer, review the body camera, review the 911 calls and put all the pieces together," said Martinez.
Martinez says Officer Baez is now on paid administrative leave, as is standard in police involved shootings. Martinez says there are now charges against Seal, but that Cocoa Police are still actively investigating.
Ball tells FOX 35 that she spent time at the hospital with Seal today. Seal was shot in the left elbow. He's already undergone one surgery. She says he's confused as to why he was shot and he's worried about his future use of that arm because he's a lefty.