PoliceOne Staff Report (LEXINGTON, KY) -- A man who police say was dressed as security guard at a local mall was shot dead by an off-duty detective after the phony guard pointed a gun at him, authorities said.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Monday that the possibly mentally ill man might have committed "suicide by police." The dead man was identified as James R. Miller, 28, who suffered mental problems, the newspaper reported.
A police spokesman for the Lexington Police Department Tuesday refused to provide further information to PoliceOne.com on the shooting or confirm the newspaper report.
Police told another newspaper, the Messenger-Inquirer, that they received a call at 6:30 p.m. last Friday that a man dressed in a security guard's uniform was in front of the Fayette Mall threatening to shoot himself.
Off-duty Detective Chris White was working at the mall, the newspaper reported. Initially, security at the mall couldn't find the suspect.
But at about 8 p.m. the officer saw a man later identified as James R. Miller, 28, on a sidewalk near the mall's entrance.
Police told the newspaper that Miller appeared "ill."
White identified himself as a police officer and asked Miller if he needed help. Miller then reportedly pulled a weapon from his holster and White, believing his life was in danger, pulled his gun and fired several times at Miller, who later was pronounced dead at the University of Kentucky Hospital.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that friends of Miller said that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered mood swings. One man who knew him told the newspaper that Miller telephoned him Friday to say 'Good-bye, its nice knowing you,' and then hung-up.
The newspaper said that Miller had previously worked as a security guard but had been fired a few months ago.