St. Pete police kill armed man - WNCN: News, Weather

St. Pete police kill armed man

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Near the shooting scene Near the shooting scene
A bullet hole in the police cruiser A bullet hole in the police cruiser
Damaged police cruiser Damaged police cruiser

A Pinellas Park man died during an overnight shootout with St. Petersburg Police. The four officers involved are on administrative leave, while the department and State Attorney's Office investigate.

"He was acting irrationally before we got the call," said St. Petersburg Police Spokesperson Bill Proffitt.  "You might make a presumption that maybe drugs are involved in this case and that might explain his irrational behavior, but that's just an early possibility at this time."

Related story: St. Pete police shooting justifiable, State Attorney says

Profitt said employees at the Hungry Baba restaurant at 1811 Martin Luther King St. South called 911 to report a man with a gun. They said he was acting odd and profusely sweating.

The man later identified as Jason Kerr, 31, was behind the wheel of his minivan when officers arrived. Proffitt said Kerr started shooting at the officers and four of the officers fired back. 

"You can't even count [the shots]. Maybe 20 or 25," said witness Zoubir Elboubir. "That was crazy. I've never seen something like that in my life."

Kerr's bullet-riddled vehicle came to a rest at a convenience store across the street. He was dead in the driver's seat.  None of the officers were injured.  Proffit said they were all lucky to walk away unharmed because three bullets hit two of their patrol cars.

"The front cruiser has a round in the hood and a round in the windshield area, the driver's side windshield. The other cruiser has damage to the passenger side," explained Proffitt.

Cocaine and pills were found in Kerr's vehicle, according to police.  Kerr has been arrested in Pinellas County several times.  His previous charges include drug trafficking and fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer.

His death marks the seventh fatal officer involved shooting by St. Petersburg Police this year.

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