NOKOMIS — A Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputy shot a man shortly after midnight Saturday at the Palm & Pines mobile home park in Nokomis. The man, identified as Mark Richard Coleman, 65, did not survive. The deputy was responding to a domestic disturbance call at the park, and the man allegedly pointed a gun at the officer.
Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight says the shooting happened about 45 seconds after the deputy arrived at the scene.
He said the witness who became involved in the struggle with Coleman did not help the situation. "It's a dangerous situation that becomes much more dangerous when citizens get involved," he said. "Our hopes would be that he (the deputy) could have de-escalated it, toned it down a bit. That's what he was trying to do."
"Who knows whether that situation was heightened or not by that individual becoming involved," Knight continued. "We can't say for certain. What we do know is what happened."
He said the wife involved in the disturbance is fine.
The deputy had not been identified Saturday morning.
At 12:39 a.m., 911 received the call reporting a disturbance at 255 N. Tamiami Trail in the Palm & Pines Mobile & RV Park, according to a press release from SCSO.
According to the caller, he heard yelling and possible gunshots. Based on a preliminary investigation, detectives determined the first deputy on scene arrived within a few minutes after the initial call was received and was directed to a common area within the trailer park, the sheriffs office said.
The suspect was seen by a deputy to be on top of a screaming female, later determined to be the suspect’s wife. The deputy made verbal commands for the suspect to get off the woman however, he did not. The suspect then showed a handgun and the deputy continued to tell the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect allegedly told the deputy to shoot him, then put the weapon in his mouth.
While the deputy continued to make verbal commands, the suspect removed the weapon from his mouth and was grabbed from behind by a witness. A struggle ensued between the witness and suspect. During the struggle, the suspect raised his firearm and pointed it at the deputy, causing the deputy to fire his agency-issued weapon. The suspect died as the result of a single gunshot wound, the sheriff's office said.
Coleman's next of kin has been notified. The involved deputy has been placed on routine paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
Coleman’s wife was treated for minor injuries and has since been released from the hospital. No one else was injured. The investigation is ongoing, according to the sheriff's office.