TARPON SPRINGS — Tarpon Springs police officers fatally shot a 17-year-old male who pointed what they said appeared to be a military-style assault rifle at officers and occupied cars Oct. 16 at Tarpon and Pinellas avenues.
The teen was later identified as Alexander King, who is enrolled in the 11th grade at Tarpon Springs High School, and the weapon was determined to be an Airsoft rifle, or pellet gun.
At almost 9:30 p.m. Oct. 16, the Tarpon Springs Police Department received several calls in reference to a white male who was walking down Pinellas Avenue in the area of Tarpon Avenue and aiming a military-style rifle at people driving by.
Officers found King near the intersection, where there were several occupied vehicles traveling by at the time, a news release states. When officers arrived, reports state that King pointed the rifle at several of the occupied vehicles and at the responding officers. The officers then fired 12 rounds at the teen, striking him several times, according to police. The officers immediately began administering first aid. King was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital, where he later died.
Police say King has had 22 different interactions with law enforcement, including 11 with the Tarpon Springs police. His record includes two felony arrests: battery on a school board employee on Sept. 27, 2017, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon on Dec. 5, 2018.
Police are working with Pinellas County Schools, which has grief counselors available for students and staff at Tarpon Springs High School.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office are investigating this case.