Broward News

Cops Shoot Black Man Getting Cigarette From His Mother's Car

An Escambia County man was shot by sheriff's deputies in the driveway of his home after he went to get a cigarette out of his mother's car.

Roy Middleton, 60, was hospitalized after being shot in the leg at about 2:42 a.m. Saturday.

"It was like a firing squad," he said from his hospital bed. "Bullets were flying everywhere."

Middleton, who is African-American, was spotted by a neighbor at the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington, which is located in Escambia County, near Pensacola.

The neighbor apparently didn't recognize Middleton and called 911 about a possible car theft in progress.

When police arrived, Middleton was bent over in the car seat, reaching for a cigarette. That's when he heard a voice call out, "Get your hands where I can see them."

At first, Middleton thought it was a neighbor playing a prank on him, but when he came out of the car, he saw deputies standing in his driveway with guns drawn.

According to Middleton, he backed out with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the officers, one of them opened fire, hitting him in the left thigh, shattering a bone.

Now, Middleton's mother, Ceola Walker, 77, says the Sheriff's Department has "some explaining to do."

"I heard the shots," she said. "(The deputies) told me to close the door and not come out. They called an ambulance for him."

Middleton was taken to Baptist Hospital, where he is reported to be in good condition. His injury will require surgery during which a metal rod must be inserted into his leg, according to Walker.

The Escambia County Sheriff's Office has not yet commented on the incident. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating. The deputies involved have been placed on paid administrative leave.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph