Deputies ID man shot dead after lunging at officers with scissors


VERO BEACH — A patient who deputies said lunged at officers with a pair of large scissors at a hospital before he was fatally shot Saturday was identified as Zachary Taylor Anderson, 29, of the Treasure Coast. The incident was one of three shootings to occur within five hours over the weekend in Indian River County.

“He died right away,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers previously said during a Sunday news conference held in front of the sheriff’s administration building. It was unclear how many times Anderson was struck by bullets.

The names of the two SWAT team members who shot at Anderson were not released. Both deputies were placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine for police-involved shootings, Flowers said.

“It happened in five seconds. He could’ve killed anyone in that hospital. He committed suicide by cop,” Flowers said. “The deputies did what they were trained to do.”

Sheriff’s officials released body camera footage of the shooting. Hospital video – which has a wider angle – was also expected to be released.

The shooting caused Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital to be placed on lockdown for several hours overnight Saturday. The incident was the second deputy-involved shooting to occur within three days in Indian River County.

Flowers said Anderson had been brought to Cleveland Clinic’s emergency room – 1000 36th Street, Vero Beach – earlier for a mental health evaluation. Anderson was sitting on a hospital bed in the hallway about 10:30 p.m. when he stood up, grabbed a pair of large scissors and started running.

Four deputies already inside the emergency room started to run toward Anderson, but then ran back after he held the scissors over his head. Hospital footage – which has not been publicly released – showed the man appear to lunge at the deputies before he was shot.

The shooting remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office.

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