Dillan Shane Ezell, 21, shot a Eustis police officer in the leg Wednesday afternoon at an AutoZone store in Florida, according to WFTV 9. Ezell allegedly exited the store and made the Christian sign of the cross with a pistol in his hand before shots were fired, Eustis police spokesman Jim Franquiz said.
Ezell’s family says he left a suicide note before attempting the “suicide by cop stunt.” He died on the way to the hospital.
Here’s what you need to know about Ezell:
1. Ezell’s Family Claimed He Was Suicidal and Planned the Incident So He Would Be Shot & Killed
Ezell allegedly tried to commit suicide through “death by cop,” according to a suicide note his family found.
Jeff Ezell, the gunman’s uncle, said the 21-year-old was carrying a BB gun but that it was not loaded. He also said the younger Ezell was suicidal for some time.
Ezell had posted a picture to a suicide hotline in August, 2017, nearly 10 months before he opened fire at AutoZone.
2. Enzell Allegedly Made the Christian Sign of the Cross Before Opening Fire
Franquiz said that Ezell walked into the Eustis AutoZone with a handgun at about 2:45 p.m. According to the Daily Commercial, six employees fled through a side door and called police, and when Ezell emerged from the front door, officers were already surrounding the business.
Franquiz said that Ezell made the sign of the cross right before opening fire. Ezell died while being taken to a hospital, according to investigators. It’s unknown how many times he was shot.
3. A 10-Year Veteran of the Eustis Police Department Was Shot in the Leg During the Incident
Senior Officer Kenneth Toler, the officer involved in the incident, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was listed as stable and alert. Authorities say that Toler was shot in the leg. Franquiz said Toler is a 10-year veteran of the Eustis Police Department.
“We’re praying for his speedy recovery,” he said.
4. Police Weren’t Sure if Ezell Was Attempting to Rob AutoZone Before He Was Shot
Police speculated that Ezell may have been attempting to rob the store where the incident took place, but weren’t positive what his intentions were.
“We still don’t know if his intent was to rob the store or what his intentions were,” Franquiz said.
5. Ezell Enjoyed the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Video Games
Although Ezell’s facebook profile is private, a handful of posts that Ezell shared were public, showing Ezell’s interest in video games and Game of Thrones.
“Spoilers!” Ezell said after posting a recap of a season six episode of Game of Thrones.
He also posted numerous screenshots of the game Arma 3 on Steam, and stated that he “loved” an episode of the Walking Dead.
This is a developing story. Heavy will update as more information is released.