The two Escambia County, Fla., deputies who fired 15 shots at 60-year-old Roy Middleton as he retrieved cigarettes from a car in his mother’s driveway were following standard procedure according to the county sheriff.
Middleton, who is black, was shot in the leg a little before 2:45 Saturday morning, the Pensacola News Journal reports. Police were called to the home by a neighbor reporting possible car theft. Police said they saw a metal object in Middleton’s hand and claimed that he lunged toward them. But Middleton, who was unarmed, told the News Journal that he backed out of the car with his hands up and police began shooting: “It was like a firing squad. Bullets were flying everywhere.”
In an interview with CNN, Escambia County County Sheriff David Morgan said the shooting was warranted. “Right now we are comfortable from a training perspective that our officers did follow standard protocols,” he said in a Thursday interivew. “I believe the standard we use and train to is a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case which is a reasonable test.”
According to ThinkProgress, the officers are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.