Marion officer fatally shoots man who wouldn't drop weapon

Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 11:47 p.m.
SHILOH - A Marion County sheriff's deputy Tuesday shot a man to death who was waving what looked like a .45-caliber handgun at him, but it turned out to be a BB gun.
Stanley Allen Mizell, 54, apparently became enraged when a truck pulling a horse trailer broke down in front of his home, according to sheriff's reports.
Sheriff's Deputy Michael Colbert had been called to the home at 20980 N. County Road 329 at about 1 a.m. to defuse a confrontation between Mizell and the driver, Kenneth England. That's when Mizell reportedly pulled out a black handgun in the darkened area.
Sheriff's Capt. Thomas Bibb said the deputy and others took cover as Colbert commanded Mizell, in a futile attempt, to drop the gun.
Colbert then fired six shots at Mizell, striking him once in the shoulder. The bullet traveled to Mizell's neck and he died as he was being airlifted to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
"We gave him every opportunity to drop the gun, but it was like he wanted to keep coming," Bibb said.
Officials later determined Mizell's weapon was a BB gun.
As is standard practice in officer-related shootings, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating and the deputy has been put on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The chain of events started shortly after midnight after a truck pulling a horse trailer on its way to Fairfield stalled in front of Mizell's giant brown home, where he lived with his father, Bob Mizell - just outside Micanopy.
For reasons that officials, England and grieving family members are still trying to determine, Mizell became upset about the truck being parked in front on his home for almost two hours. Mizell got into a confrontation with England, a 27-year-old horse showman from Sarasota, and the two other people in England's truck.
The vehicle was parked on the road and wasn't blocking the driveway, Bibb said. Officials and family members said Mizell might have been on heavy medication. Bibb said investigators confiscated a bag of medicine about 5 inches high. An autopsy is being conducted on the body.
Bob Mizell, 79, said his son liked to stay up late and watch television.
"He does take medication," he said, although he added it was nothing he believed that would cause his son to behave aggressively. "I think possibly he had a few drinks."
Stanley Mizell's aggressiveness and complaints about the trailer being there so long continued to escalate, even after Deputy Colbert and a tow truck reached the scene, according to sheriffs officials. A female passenger in the truck had called another horse trailer to pick up the horses.
According to Capt. Jimmy Pogue, Mizell went back into the house, and emerged with the gun. England spotted the gun and warned Colbert. Everyone took cover, including Colbert, who got behind a large oak tree in the yard.
Family members and friends of Mizell gathered at the home Tuesday afternoon. David Mizell said his brother used to work as a roofer before a vehicle accident several years ago caused him to be on pain medicine.
Up until the shooting, he had worked on vehicles in a garage the family has on the property, David Mizell said.
"He had a heart of gold, would do anything for you," said David Mizell. "I don't know why the deputy had to go this far; it was only a pellet gun."
Bob Mizell said he had forgotten his son had the pellet gun, which he sometimes used to shoot armadillos.
While the shooting is being investigated, Bibb said a preliminary investigation determined it was a justifiable shooting. England agreed.
"I'm just glad the deputy was there. He is a hero as far as I'm concerned." he said.
Bibb said deputies were called to the home about eight years ago after Mizell stabbed himself with an ice pick. Bibb said he was involuntarily institutionalized as a result. Mizell had a criminal record dating back to 1969, Bibb said, mostly things like battery and driving violations. It included a conviction of misdemeanor battery.

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