LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Lake County Sheriff's Office deputies shot and killed a man they assumed was an attempted murder suspect on Sunday, but they now know they shot the wrong man.
In the early-morning hours, deputies knocked on 26-year-old Andrew Lee Scott's door without identifying themselves as law enforcement officers. Scott answered the door with a gun in his hand.
"When we knocked on the door, the door opened and the occupant of that apartment was pointing a gun at deputies, and that's when we opened fire and killed him," Lt. John Herrell said. "Even though this subject is not the one we were looking for when he opened the door. He was pointing the gun at the deputy and if you put yourselves in the deputy's shoes. They were there to pick up someone who was wanted for an attempted homicide."
Officials said the deputies did not identify themselves because of safety reasons.
Deputies thought they were confronting Jonathan Brown, a man accused of attempted murder. Brown was spotted at the Blueberry Hills Apartment complex and his motorcycle was parked across from Andrew Scott's front door.
"It's just a bizarre set of circumstances. The bottom line is, you point a gun at a deputy sheriff or police office, you're going to get shot," Herrell said.
Residents said the unannounced knock at the door at 1:30 a.m. may be the reason why the tragedy happened.
"He was the wrong guy and he got shot and killed anyway. There's fault on both sides. I think more so on the county," Ryan Perry said. "I can understand why he [the deputy] did it, but it should have never gone down like that," Perry said.
Scott's friend, LeMac Blount said he thinks law enforcement acted too quickly.
"I think because his motorcycle was parked in front of Andrew's door, it wasn't safe to assume that that was where he was at. I think they should of took other precautions," said Blout.
Brown was arrested near the same building where Scott was shot. Brown and another suspect in the same case, Anthony Rodriguez, were booked into the Lake County Jail over the weekend.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is handling the investigation of the shooting and the deputy who fired, as well as the two who were on the scene with him, are on administrative leave.
Reprinted with permission from WESH