Add “looking for cigarettes in your mother’s car” to the list of things worthy of Florida police’s gunfire.
Late Saturday night, 60-year-old Roy Middleton of Warrington, Florida went to his driveway to retrieve a loose cigarette from his mother’s car. A neighbor mistook Middleton for a burglar and called the police. While searching the vehicle, Middleton claimed he heard someone command “get your hands where I can see them!”
Middleton thought a neighbor tried to play him. Then sh*t got real when he turned around and saw two deputies standing in his driveway. He said he backed out of the vehicle with both hands raised, just as commanded. However, Middleton claims, when he turned around to face the deputies, they opened fire. “It was like a firing squad,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”
Middleton got struck in the leg, shattering bones in his thigh. His mother’s car became riddled with bullets. She claimed she found 17 shell casings in the driveway.
According to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan, the deputies opened fire because Middleton “lunged” at the officers. In a filed report, the deputies claim they commanded Middleton several times to show his hands. Their account also stated he eventually lunged out of the car and spun around, causing the deputies to “fear for their safety.”
Middleton expects his release from the hospital on Wednesday.