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St. Pete Cop Fatally Shoots Man who Struggled Over Gun

September 26, 2011  | 

Photo: St. Petersburg PD.
Photo: St. Petersburg PD.
A St. Petersburg (Fla.) Police officer fatally shot a man carrying a pistol who struggled with the officer after a pat-down search revealed the gun.

Officer Ruben DeJesus, a 25-year veteran, was investigating a suspicious vehicle with two fellow officers when the shooting occurred early Monday.

While on patrol, Officer Michael Weiskopf discovered an unoccupied vehicle in the parking area of the city park at the Jungle Prada boat ramp. The park is closed after dark.

Officers DeJesus and Richard Demesmin responded to the scene, after Officer Weiskopf notified dispatchers at 1:42 a.m. that he was checking the vehicle, according to the agency.

The three officers walked down a trail to the shoreline of the bay where they encountered three men who appeared to be drinking alcoholic beverages. The officers questioned two of the men and did a pat-down search of one. Jared Speakman, 18, questioned the officers' authority to detain them.

Officer DeJesus observed the butt of a handgun protruding from Speakman's waistband or his right front pants pocket, and notified his fellow officers of the gun. When the officer grabbed the butt of the gun, Speakman struggled and the two rolled down a small grassy embankement.

During the struggle, Officer DeJesus lost his grip on the gun and Speakman retained the weapon. The officer then drew his duty weapon and fired at Speakman, striking him in the upper body and leg.

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