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EXCLUSIVE: Son of man shot by deputy says could've been avoided

Man was shot after attacking deputy with a knife
Posted at 12:40 AM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 20:52:42-04

UPDATE -- Deputy is out of the hospital, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office. 


BOKEELIA, Fla., -- The Lee County deputy who shot a man with mental health issues could have been prevented, according to the man's son. 

"It seemed like he was dressed to, like, leave this earth pretty much, said Brian Beaty, son of suspect Rickey Beaty.

Brian Beaty admits that his father has struggled with mental health issues for awhile. He says he wasn't surprised when his father called the cops, threatening suicide with a knife in his hand. But after a deputy arrived, Brian says injuries could have been prevented. 

“Trying to think about saving the officer’s life and my dad’s life at the same time.”

The Lee County Sheriff's Office gave this statement at a press conference Thursday: 

"Shortly after speaking to that suspect, he began to attack our deputy with a knife. Subsequently stabbing our deputy. Our deputy in fear for his life and safety, discharged his fire arm striking the subject.” 

Brian says his father was still holding the knife when the deputy arrived. He asked the officer to walk outside to calm his dad down or even use a taser instead of a gun. 

“And then he says no, I’m going to have to shoot him. That’s when my dad actually got up and started, you know, going after the officer," said Brian. “It could have been handled differently, yes. He didn’t have to say, for one, I’m going to have to shoot him.”

LCSO says the deputy sustained non-life threatening injuries. As for Rickey, Brian says his father is stable but still at the hospital. 

This is an active investigation.