Teen killed after pointing rifle at Tarpon Springs police had troubled past

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 17-year-old Tarpon Springs teen was shot and killed after pointing a rifle at Tarpon Springs police officers while they responded to a call Saturday night.

The Tarpon Springs Police Department said that around 9:27 p.m., the department got multiple calls about a man walking on Pinellas Avenue, wielding a military-style rifle and pointing it at drivers on the avenue.

Responding officers found the teen at the intersection of Pinellas and Tarpon Avenue, but the department said when they got there, the man pointed his rifle at drivers and the officers.

The officers then shot the teen 12 times and tried to give him first aid afterward, the TSPD said in a report. The teen was taken to Bayonet Point Hospital where he died from his injuries.

According to police, the teen later identified as Alexander King who was holding a airsoft rile when he was shot.

Police say King had 22 different interactions with law enforcement, 11 with other Pinellas County law enforcement agencies, and 11 with the Tarpon Springs Police Department, including two felony arrests which were battery on a school board employee in 2017 and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in 2018.

Police say an internal affairs investigation is underway and the two officers who shot King have been on paid administrative leave as the investigation is ongoing.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.

Police told News Channel 8 that King was never charged as an adult, so the details of his prior arrests are not public record.

The school board declined to comment on King’s history.

Several students at the school told News Channel 8 they did not know King, or only knew of him.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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