Florida Police Called To Home To Deal With Suicidal Man And Shoot Him To Death After He Brandishes Scissors

250px-FL_-_St._Petersburg_Police220px-Skalm_2The family and neighbors of Arthur Dixon, 43, has raised questions over his death after two St. Petersburg police officers shot him to death after he brandished scissors in a confrontation. Police were called to the home to deal with Dixon who was threatening suicide and had doused himself with gasoline. Firefighters refused to enter the home and family and friends were cleaning up the gasoline and talking to Dixon when police arrived and ordered them to leave. An hour later, Dixon was dead.


Dixon’s mother called police to report her son as suicidal. He had suffered a head injury in a prior accident. The fire fighters were told that he had doused himself with gasoline but refused to enter the home due to a dog in the yard. A neighbor Ray Wuest, went inside and talked to Dixon and took away a cigarette that he was smoking around the gasoline. He went outside to ask the firefighters for material to mop up the gasoline. The firefighters continued to refuse to enter the home and he went back in to clean it up and talk to Dixon. Police then arrived and ordered him out.

After police took over, Dixon became irate and ran from the house with a pair of scissors. Two officers said that he raised the scissors and refused to drop them. They then repeatedly shot him in the chest.

St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz insisted “scissors are a deadly weapon. They can cause great harm.” It is not clear however why a taser or pepper spray were not better alternatives. The fact is that the shooting is likely to be found to be justifiable in light of the weapon. Yet, family and neighbors have insisted that they could have talked Dixon down and that the police escalated the situation after their arrival.

Source: Tampa Bay

33 thoughts on “Florida Police Called To Home To Deal With Suicidal Man And Shoot Him To Death After He Brandishes Scissors”

  1. I have to agree that too many police departments have a kill at any threat policy and they do seem to escalate situations that would be better served by other means.

    But not all police departments are so. I had to call for help when a family member threatened suicide – twice – in different localities. In both instances the cops were helpful. In one, the family member had a gun and wanted the cops to kill him. The cops refused and talked him down. In the second instance, there was no weapon that I’m aware of and the cops talked him down. Many years later a diagnosis of bi-polar disorder and medication has been a great help. He didn’t really want to die, he just wanted the pain to stop.

  2. This would seem to be just another example of the basic operating practice and principle for cops: the remotest possibility of me or any other cop suffering any injury > your property, your pet, your civil liberties, and your life.

  3. “…the police escalated the situation after their arrival.”
    Is grass green? do fish swim in the sea?

  4. Raff, leeJ, John….everyone else…

    Absolutely….. They are concerns of mine…

  5. Imagine that… The police escalating a situation the family seemed to have under control….. Ok, imagine for a magical moment…. The use of deadly force way the only option they had….. Could they have shot, say in the lower part of the body….. The hand…. The foot…. The leg… The knee….. There are all sorts of body parts that could have been aimed at…. But no…. We have a zero tolerance policy when confronted by the military trained officers….sig hiel…. Der Kommondant…. Now, goose step march….. Ach tung……

  6. It has become clear that cops everywhere must have a quota now, not for tickets, oh no, but how many folks they can beat the chit out of or kill!

  7. I remember in elementary school being taught the policeman was our frind. How in the world has it come to the point where people are afraid to call the police for help. I don’t get, as othrs wrote – why not use pepper spray or if they had to shoo shoot hm in say the leg to bring him down or the arm so tat he dropped the scissors.
    Suicide by cop maybe but they were way to willing to go along with it if that was the case and more and more obliging when that was not what was happening. in way, way too many other cases (one is way too many.)

  8. “why wouldn’t a less lethal shot been used?” -rafflaw

    I agree, but the standard response is that they “always shoot to kill.”

  9. I am confused why the fire personnel could not have removed or had the dog removed from the site. The police over reacted and if all he had was scissors, why wouldn’t a less lethal shot been used?

  10. If ordinary, armed, untrained citizens get to blast others to bits based on a fear for their safety, why shouldn’t the cops, asks the cops.

  11. I would suggest that if he had doused himself with gasoline, that a taser would not be a smart choice. Best bet would be the pepper spray. Don’t really understand what the firemen were afraid of. All they had to do was hose him down. The house was already ruined from the gas, what’s a little foam?

  12. “State records show that Dixon was convicted in 2011 of robbery with a weapon and resisting an officer with violence. He was released from state prison Feb. 17.”

    Suicide by cop, perhaps. Given his history, maybe the cops were a little more willing to oblige.

    As others have said, the family shouldn’t have called the police.

  13. “Yet, family and neighbors have insisted that they could have talked Dixon down and that the police escalated the situation after their arrival.”

    I’d put money on it.

  14. Very efficient! Can’t waste the Po=Po’s time, when they have speeding tickets to give out…………….

  15. I could not agree more. Don’t call the police. Apparently their fear and concern for their own personaL safety means that their only response is to shoot to kill. There is no middle ground. No talking no wounding just shoot to kill. What a tragedy for the family and for our society.

  16. the police escalated the situation after their arrival

    That’s why you should never call them….

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