Florida Teen Was Pointing Airsoft Rifle At Drivers When He Was Fatally Shot

By Bill Galluccio

October 19, 2021

Photo: Tarpon Springs Police

A Florida teenager was shot and killed by police in Tarpon Springs after he pointed an airsoft rifle at them. The teen, identified as 17-year-old Alexander King was standing on the side of the road pointing the toy gun at drivers. Concerned motorists called 911 warning that a "white male wearing dark clothing pointing a military-style rifle" was aiming at vehicles.

When officers arrived, King pointed the rifle at them and yelled "shoot me." They took cover behind another vehicle and fired multiple shots. King was shot numerous times and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Alex King," Tarpon Springs Police Chief Jeff Young said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the officers and their families as they, too, deal with the aftermath of this event."

According to WTVT, King had 22 prior run-ins with law enforcement. In 2017, he was arrested for felony battery of a school board employee, and the following year he was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Officials did not say why the teen was pointing the airsoft rifle at vehicles. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

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