The 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