Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Shoot, Kill Man They Say Pulled a Gun; A TENSE SCENE Some Witnesses Say Victim Wasn't Armed; Others Back Police Account

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Shoot, Kill Man They Say Pulled a Gun; A TENSE SCENE Some Witnesses Say Victim Wasn't Armed; Others Back Police Account

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL PINKHAM

Jacksonville police fatally shot a man behind his grandmother's house after officers said he pulled a gun on them then tried to run.

Several witnesses in the neighborhood said the dead man, whom they identified as Kiko Battles, didn't have a gun.

The disagreement made for a tense scene at 18th and Laura streets, where the shooting occurred about 5:45 p.m.

"They killed Kiko. They killed my brother," Battles' sister yelled repeatedly as family gathered a block north of the shooting.

Sheriff's Office Chief Rick Graham said two off-duty officers working for the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council spotted two men walking in the middle of the street and stopped to talk to them. One man was cooperative, but the other quickly became argumentative and belligerent, Graham said.

"The officers were just going to stop and have a casual conversation, and for some unknown reason it turned combative," the chief said.

He said when one of the officers tried to grab the man, he ran and the officer Tasered him. The man fell in the street, and a gun fell off him, causing the officer to draw his service weapon, Graham said.

When the man picked up the gun and turned toward the officer, the officer fired and the man ran off with the gun, Graham said. He was then shot several more times.

The chief said several witnesses backed up the officers' account.

Graham said he didn't know how many shots were fired. Neither officer was injured and the other man police questioned was placed in the back of a squad car when the arguing started, Graham said.

The chief wouldn't identify either man or the officers pending further investigation and an autopsy. Both officers have been placed on standard administrative leave.

Graham defended the officers' decision to question two men walking in the middle of the street because it raised suspicion. …

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