CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — A day after 44-year-old Shawn Joseph Pearce was shot by police, Chipley Police Chief Scott Thompson said the Cleveland, Tennessee man died from his wounds.
The incident started out as a traffic disturbance. Thompson said police began receiving calls about 10 minutes before they arrived at Walmart, saying Pearce was at the intersection of Highway 77 and Brickyard Road.
“Mr. Pearce pulled up next to a school bus at which time he crawled out of the sunroof of his car, started yelling at surrounding cars,” Thompson said.
Thompson said Pearce began pounding on the door of the bus until the light turned green. Then he got back in his car and drove to Walmart. Once Pearce parked at Walmart, Thompson said he immediately began attacking two shoppers, one an elderly Chipley man.
“Officers arrived. Upon arrival, they contacted both the calling party and the suspect. Backup officers arrived to assist,” Thompson said. “At that time, the suspect became combative.”
Thompson said Pearce grabbed one of the officer’s tasers. That’s when he was shot by police.
“It’s kind of scary,” Chipley resident Terry Ard said. “I’m glad that we were all sitting at home instead of there because we usually come to Walmart almost every single day. So, yeah, that was a little scary knowing that.”
Other residents also said they were scared for shoppers’ lives when they heard a man was shot.
“I was really fearful because I know the parking lot at night is full of people, the building is full of people, you know, people getting off work and shopping and going home,” Chipley resident Karen Laney said. “And it is very upsetting.”
Thompson said two of his officers are on administrative leave. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating to determine if the shooting was a justified use of force.
Story from earlier Thursday:
CHIPLEY, Fla. (WMBB) — A man who banged on a school bus and then harassed customers at a grocery store was shot and killed by Chipley police officers after he took one of their Tasers during a confrontation, Chipley’s Police Chief said Thursday.
The incident happened shortly before 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the Chipley Walmart. The man, 44-year-old Shawn Joseph Pearce, of Cleveland, Tenn., was rushed to a hospital after the shooting but later died from his injuries.
Chief Scott Thompson said two of his officers were placed on administrative leave following the incident. Officers are routinely placed on leave following a shooting. Thompson has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the shooting.