OAKLAND PARK (CBS4) – Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators say a deputy was forced to open fire on a man who walked into a crowded pool area of an apartment complex with a rifle and refused to drop it.

The shooting happened Tuesday afternoon on the 5200 block of North Dixie Highway at the Green Tree Apartments.

According to BSO Sheriff Scott Israel, the subject was carrying a rifle as he walked into an apartment complex. At least two people called 911 reporting seeing the man carrying the weapon on Dixie Highway near Commercial Boulevard.

A deputy arrived on the scene and told the man to drop the weapon. Israel said the man turned toward the deputy instead, and the deputy opened fire.

“The subject turned towards one of our deputies and pointed the rifle,” Israel said. “Our deputy fired at the subject.”

BSO said the man was transported to Broward Health Medical Center where he later died.

Bella Needleman, 11, was playing in the pool and watched the confrontation between a man with a rifle and Broward Sheriff’s deputies.

“They were like, ‘Put the gun down. Put the gun down,’ she told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.

Bella says the man kept walking and the next thing she and her friend Jalissa, 8, heard were gunshots.

“It went bow, bow, bow all in the row,” Bella said. “Her mom told us to get out and hide behind a vending machine.”

The girls hid and wondered if they were safe.

“I was really scared,” said Jalissa.

A witness who did not want to appear on camera said the situation unfolded exactly as deputies described. For Bella Needleman, it was a grown up lesson she wishes she never saw.

“Seeing somebody die in front of you, it’s not the best feeling,” she said.


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