AUBURNDALE, Fla. - A desperate call to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office turned deadly Thursday night.
A woman called 911 and told the operator her son, who had a history of mental illness, was threatening to kill himself and she needed help. Things quickly went downhill when deputies arrived.
Deputies say Juan Rosa pointed a gun at them and they discharged their weapons. Rosa died at the hospital - on his 35th birthday.
Rosa’s mother says her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. Recently, he moved back into her home on Congress Avenue in Auburndale.
Thursday night, she called 911 and told the operator that Rosa was out of control, threatening to kill himself.
When deputies arrived, they say he pointed a gun at them.
They shot him eight times.
“This is without a doubt, classic suicide-by-cop. He had the opportunity to crank off a round at the deputies and he didn’t. But he immediately pointed the gun, and at that split second, my deputies made the exact right decision to protect themselves from a deadly use of force against them,” Sheriff Grady Judd said.
Judd says when someone points a gun at a law enforcement officer, the response is going to be automatic. They are trained to shoot to kill.
Deputies discovered afterward, the gun was loaded.