A police officer in Miami, Florida, shot and killed a homeless man, Fritz Severe, in front of children at a park on Thursday.
There were 40 to 60 witnesses, including many kids attending camp in the park, who will be subjected to interviews by the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement), noted WSVN (video below).
Witnesses say a library in the park called the police on Severe, but there are conflicting stories on whether or not Severe waved or pointed a metal pole/rod at the officer, who was identified as Antonio Torres. The fatal shooting occurred near the library entrance.
“Oh my god, he just shot this damn man five times! Really? Five times! That’s ridiculous! Five times!” witness Nichelle Miller told CBS Miami.
A 13-year-old witness recalled, "The guy from the camp told the police and then the police came. And He [the officer] told him [Fritz], I guess he told him to drop the weapon he had and he started swinging at the police, and the police shot about seven shots."
A 12-year-old boy added, "I was afraid bullets would come towards me, as a person, and I was scared of him getting shot."
Witness Stephanie Severance said, "They really didn’t have to shoot that man because he... What happened to the Tasers? Why couldn’t they tase him?"
Miami Poice Chief Rodolfo Llanes claimed that not all of his officers carry Tasers because they have to be certified, but didn't say if Torres had a Taser.
Torres was not wearing a body camera.
Javier Ortiz, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union that represents Miami officers, warned the public not to jump to conclusions, but then jumped to his own conclusion that the officer would be cleared by the investigation of the shooting, noted The Miami Herald.