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Chief: Police Fatally Shot Tarpon Springs Teen Pointing Air Rifle

October 19, 2021

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Police fatally shot a Florida teenager after he pointed what turned out to be an air rifle at people, cars and officers, a police chief said.

Police identified him as Alexander King, a 17-year-old junior at Tarpon Springs High School who had 22 previous encounters with law enforcement.

Officers responded Saturday night to reports of a white male in a black T-shirt walking around a busy street pointing what appeared to be an assault-style weapon at people and cars.

Tarpon Springs Police Chief Jeffrey Young said in a news release Monday that officers fired 12 rounds at King after he pointed the rifle at them.

The teen was pronounced dead at a hospital. It’s not clear if he fired any shots from the air-powered pellet gun he carried.

King’s earlier encounters with law enforcement included arrests for battery on a school board employee and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, Young said.

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid leave under department policy while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and other agencies investigate.

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