WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (2/14/12)--An 18-year-old who opened fire in the parking lot of a Florida credit union was shot and killed Friday afternoon by sheriff's deputies responding to a 911 call about a man firing shots in the air with a rifle.
Palm Beach County sheriff's office said the shooting took place at about 4 p.m. outside the West Palm Beach-based Palm Beach County (PBC) CU when Christopher Brown, 18, of Palm Springs, allegedly starting firing a rifle that had a high capacity magazine, capable of storing more than 50 rounds of ammunition (Palm Beach Post Feb. 10 and Feb. 11 and wptv.com Feb. 10).
When deputies arrived, Brown allegedly fired shots at a deputy's cruiser, hitting it three times and flattening a tire, said Sheriff Ric Bradshaw (South Florida Sun Sentinel Feb. 11). The three deputies returned fire, and Brown died at the scene.
None of the deputies and no one inside the credit union were injured. The credit union was servicing about 10 members when the incident occurred. Someone in the credit union made the initial 911 call, saying there was a man in the parking lot with a rifle. One member told local reporters she was opening a savings account and thought the blasts were fireworks (wptv.com Feb. 10).
The sheriff's department said that the call possibly averted a larger tragedy. It was unknown whether Brown had intended to rob the credit union or why he was there. A bomb squad was sent to check a backpack inside a car that was left running in the parking lot, but found nothing harmful in the backpack.
The deputies involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, which is the routine procedure while the sheriff's office investigates the circumstances.