Volusia deputies said they shot and killed a suicidal man on Wednesday after he approached them while carrying a gun.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said they requested Volusia County’s assistance around 4 p.m. when a 52-year-old Bunnell man, later identified as Kenneth Morrow, sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend threatening suicide. His cellphone was tracked to Highbridge Road near Ormond Beach, just west of the Halifax River.
A Volusia deputy found Morrow and his parked motorcycle west of the bridge that spans the river. Authorities said Morrow had the gun in his hand and told the deputy to stay away from him. He then continued to text suicidal messages, including demands for law enforcement to leave him alone. He also pointed the gun at himself at times, said police.
Deputies said they attempted to talk to Morrow by calling his cellphone and sending him text messages. He initially ignored them, but then responded with more suicidal statements.
At one point, police said Morrow fired his gun, but it is unknown what he may have been shooting at. Around 6:15 p.m., Morrow advanced on deputies in an aggressive manner while brandishing his weapon and refusing to heed their warnings to stop, officials said.
Deputies said they protected themselves by firing at Morrow, who was struck and fell to the ground. Once deputies determined that it was safe, paramedics approached Morrow and pronounced him dead at 6:25 p.m.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office says the two deputies involved in the shooting, 38-year-old Christopher Jones and 34-year-old Joel Hernandez, were placed on paid administrative leave. Jones has been with the Sheriff’s Office since May 2002 and Hernandez has been with the Sheriff’s Office since February 2003.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been called in to investigate the shooting.