A Collier deputy shot three to seven times at a man with a gun to his own head Friday morning outside an East Naples 7-Eleven, according to witnesses.
Bob Johnson said he was getting coffee at the 7-Eleven on the corner of Estey Avenue and Airport Road when he saw a deputy draw his gun.
Johnson said the deputy went to talk to a man who was sitting leaning on the back exterior wall of the store. The man held the gun to his head, cocked it, then put it back to his head, Johnson said.
The deputy then fired at the man "six times, maybe more, maybe seven," according to Johnson.
"Personally, I'm disgusted," said Johnson, who said he was a former law enforcement officer in Jersey City. "There's no reason to shoot six times."
The Sheriff's Office is reporting a concerned citizen called at 8:48 a.m. to report that he saw a suspicious man drinking beer at the 7-Eleven at 1183 Airport-Pulling Road South. The Sheriff's Office is saying caller said the man appeared to have a gun and was sitting near a Dumpster under a tree on the property, which is located in a heavily populated and busy area of Collier County.
The caller described the man as an older white male, with a balding hairline. He was wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt and blue shorts, the caller said.
The Sheriff's Office says deputies made contact with the man and the man threatened the deputies and one of the deputies shot the man.
The man was initially transported to Naples Community Hospital and later transported to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, where he is being treated for his injuries.
The Sheriff's Office has not released the name of the man.
Following Sheriff's Office policy, the two deputies at the scene have been placed on administrative leave.
Another witness, Bill Shea, was having breakfast on a picnic bench across the street when he saw a white man at the south end of the store flailing his arms, yelling "maniacally" and spinning around, holding something silver.
Shea said he saw the man move the silver object, likely a gun, to his head. A deputy walked up to the man and yelled something like, "put the gun down," according to Shea.
When the man wouldn't comply, Shea said, the deputy opened fire. Shea said he heard three or four gunshots.
"Had I been that deputy, I'd have been in fear for my own safety," Shea said.