Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Man with Sword Shot by Deputy

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Man with Sword Shot by Deputy

Article excerpt

ONECO: Report says he was waving weapon and 'charged' at the officers

BRADENTON -- A Manatee County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a 31-year-old Oneco man Thursday morning after the man allegedly ran toward officers while brandishing a samurai sword.

Sheriff Brad Steube said as officers arrived at a house in the 3500 block of 58th Ave. E. at 9:30 a.m., Terry M. Sellars Jr. came out the front door and "charged" at the deputy with a "very large" sword over his head. (The sheriff said Sellars sometimes spelled his last name Sellers.)

Sellars was 40 feet away when the deputy fired, Steube said.

Steube would not name the officer who shot Sellars, saying the investigation was ongoing. The deputy was a 10-year veteran of the force and is now on paid administrative leave. The deputy was not injured.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office plans to conduct the shooting investigation.

Authorities said the incident began at about 8 a.m. when Sellars' mother called authorities from a nearby Circle K gas station at State Road 70 and 33rd Street East.

She told deputies that her son had hit her twice with a phone book and had choked her. Another son, Casey Whitaker, who arrived after the shooting, told the Herald-Tribune that his mother had several neck surgeries in the past.

The woman said Sellars tried to stop her from leaving. She was able to call 911 from the house, but Sellars allegedly grabbed the phone from her and went into a back bedroom.

When he went to the back of the house, Sellars' mother was able to escape and take a pickup to the gas station.

The mother filled out an affidavit, and deputies went to the house to arrest Sellars on charges of battery and false imprisonment.

As the three sheriff's vehicles pulled up to the house at the end of a winding dirt road, a deputy hanging onto the outside of the K- 9 unit vehicle stepped off of the SUV's step rail and began to move toward the front of the car. All other deputies were inside vehicles.

The deputy was hanging on the outside of the K-9 unit vehicle so he would not agitate the police dog, which is only accustomed to riding in a car with its handler.

As the deputy began to move toward the front of the car, Sellars reportedly ran out of the home's front door with the samurai sword above his head. …

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