St. Pete PD: man shot by officers has died - WFLA News Channel 8

St. Pete PD: man shot by officers has died

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Flowers mark the spot where St Petersburg police shot Arthur Allen Dixon. Flowers mark the spot where St Petersburg police shot Arthur Allen Dixon.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

St. Petersburg police say a man shot by two of their officers after he threatened them with scissors has died.

Arthur Allen Dixon Jr., 43, died at Bayfront Medical Center after 10 Sunday night after officers shot him in the upper torso. 

Around 6:10 PM, Dixon's mother called 911 from the home at 5411 4th Avenue North, saying her son was threatening to kill himself.  When police arrived, they made contact with Dixon, who had doused himself with gasoline, and was threatening to set himself on fire.

Officers established a perimeter around the home, and tried to negotiate with Dixon through a window.  They say he wouldn't cooperate, and verbally threatened them.

At 7:30, investigators say Dixon ran out the back door with a pair of scissors in his hand.  Two officers stationed in the backyard say he came towards them holding the scissors in a threatening manner.  They raised their guns and told Dixon to stop.  When he didn't, investigators say the two officers shot him.

"The police assured me they weren't going to hurt him, that they were concerned for his safety," said Dixon's mother, Lydia Andrews.

Dixon's friend and neighbor, Raymond Wuest, was in Dixon's home and tried to coax him to come out.

"He was sitting in his kitchen with a lit cigarette, gasoline all over the floor," Wuest said.

He described Dixon's frame of mind as "furious," but still questions whether officers should have opened fire on his friend.

"They couldn't take him down?" Wuest asked. "They had the shotgun leaning against the fence with the rubber bullets. Why not hit him with that?"

St. Petersburg Police spokesperson Mike Puetz said scissors can be used as a deadly weapon, and officers are trained only to fire when they feel a threat is imminent.

"We can't just let the man run through the neighborhood in the current state he was in," said Puetz. "We had to take some action."

Puetz added that officers couldn't disarm Dixon using a taser, because he was covered in gasoline.

"That would potentially lead to a spark, which might have serious consequences, not just for the individual, but for the officers standing right there next to him," he said.

The two officers involved, Devin Jones and Curtis Wright, are on paid administrative leave pending further investigation by the Investigative Services Bureau, Internal affairs Unit of the SPPD as well as State Attorney's Office in Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

According to Florida Department of Corrections records, Dixon was just released from prison in February after serving time for robbery with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest with violence.

Dixon's mother said Dixon had a traumatic brain injury and was blind in one eye.

"I want to know why they shot him. Why? He had no weapons," she said.

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