POMPANO BEACH (CBS4) – A man who reportedly threatened a woman with a machete Sunday night was fatally shot when confronted by a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy during a traffic stop.
It happened about 8 p.m. Sunday near the 300 block of NW 31st Avenue.
According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, a woman approached a deputy at the Marathon gas station at Hammondville Road and Northwest 31st Avenue and said a man had threatened her with a machete. She pointed out the man who was in his truck. That man was later identified as 51-year old Deosaran Maharaj. The sheriff’s office said Maharaj has been living at the Motel 6 near the gas station.
The truck then left the parking lot with no headlights on, according to the sheriff’s office.
The deputy followed the truck and pulled Maharaj over.
The sheriff’s office said Maharaj didn’t follow the commands of Deputy Paul Yesbeck to show his hands and get on the ground. When Maharaj began rifling through his truck, Yesbeck was forced to fire multiple shots. At least one round struck Maharaj.
“The subject at some point was outside the vehicle, the subject went back inside the vehicle and our deputy fired multiple shots at the suspect,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
The truck rolled across the street and hit a palm tree. The deputy found the driver dead inside the truck.
“We heard like a crash and the kids said they heard two bang bangs,” said Hilari Russell who lives nearby.
Israel said detectives searched the truck which was full of coconuts.
“There was a significant sized machete in the front seat,” said Israel.
The sheriff did not know whether the man brandished the machete or threatened the deputy.
According to neighbors, the man was well known around the area. Neighbors say he made a living selling the coconuts and used the machete to cut them from trees. They added that he was a kind, hard-working, man and they don’t understand what he could have done to warrant being shot.
“He was a very nice guy,” said “TJ”. “I never knew him to be a violent person, he always sold his coconuts. He was always a giving, kind hearted, person, full of life.”
Some questioned the deputy’s actions.
“It’s crazy,” said Ernest Kearse, “If the machete was in the car, why did they shoot him?”
Others said if the deputy’s safety was threatened, he had the right to protect himself.
“If the guy was smart enough to know you’re being stopped by a cop tell him ‘Hey, I have a machete in the car, I cut coconuts’ before you do anything and have your hands up like this,” said Russell.
The sheriff’s office is looking for anyone who witnessed the incident. If you have any information, you are urged to call the BSO non-emergency line at (954) 765-4321.