TW: Police violence, racism - Unarmed man shot by deputies inside his own car outside his own home
July 30, 2013
Deputies in Florida’s Escambia County have some explaining to do after they allegedly shot an unarmed man for grabbing a box of cigarettes out of his own car outside his own house.
Roy Middleton was returning home from work early Saturday morning, when he stopped by the car he and his mother share to grab some cigarettes.
A neighbor who didn’t recognize Middleton phoned the local sheriff’s office to report a possible burglary.
Deputies dispatched to the scene found Middleton inside the vehicle and ordered him to back away with his hands in the air. As he was doing so, Middleton says he turned to face the deputies.
"It was like a firing squad," he later recalled from his hospital bed. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”
All told, deputies fired seven shots, five of which struck the car and the side of Middleton’s house, where his elderly mother Ceola Walker was sleeping.
At least one of the bullets hit Middleton’s leg.
"I don’t understand how they could fire so many shots at him," said Walker. “He wasn’t resisting or anything and he was at his own house.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is reportedly investigating the incident, and the deputies involved have been placed on paid leave.
A girl who witnessed the shooting confirmed Middleton’s version of events. “He wasn’t belligerent or anything,” she told PNJ.
Though Middleton’s wounds are not life-threatening, he will require several weeks of treatment before he’s back on his feet.