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Community reacts to officer involved shooting at Tallahassee apartment complex

Posted at 5:21 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 17:21:57-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — At Leon Arms Apartments in Tallahassee, dozens of people are crying and praying together, trying to make sense of the killings that happened Wednesday morning.

"I just heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop," said April, who lives in the apartment complex.

She was hearing gunshots from a Tallahassee Police officer.

Wednesday morning, police were called to a stabbing on Saxon Street.

Officers say when they found the African-American woman responsible for fatally stabbing a man, she pulled out a gun, leaving the officer to shoot first.

"By the time I came, my stepson Zion told me," April said. "He said, 'They just killed somebody.'"

Community members say that killing wasn't justified.

"They said that ain't what happened," said April. "She ain't pull no gun out. But they shot her because they think it's okay."

Police Chief Lawrence Revell is standing beside his officers.

"If someone is pointing a gun at an officer, then the officer is expected to train themselves in that situation," Cheif Revell said.

That training has people in the neighborhood upset.

"She ain't pull no gun on no cop," said April. "She was quiet. They could've tased her."

Chief Revell said there's a reason they go for the gun instead.

"Any time an officer is confronted with a gun, there's a split second that they can pull the trigger," said Chief Revell. "The officer has a right to protect themselves and the community. That's not something a taser is designed for."

That answer isn't enough for some.

"Until they're held accountable like we're held accountable, they're gonna keep doing it," April said. "Y'all need to stop pulling guns and shooting us."

TPD says when the woman pulled a gun on the officer it was considered aggravated assault, making the officer a victim.

Right now, we know very little about the officer involved. TPD says they do not plan to release his name a this time.

The department says they will release the officer's name only if that person gives them permission.

"I want to specifically talk to my officers and let them know I care about them, but also talk to the community and see what it is I can do to help build and repair relationships," said Chief Revell

ABC 27 has requested to view the body camera video from Wednesday's shooting.