Florida teen fatally shot after pointing airsoft replica M14 rifle at passing cars

Alexander King had 22 prior encounters with law enforcement

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TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — A Florida teen was fatally shot by police on Saturday night after pointing an airsoft replica M14 rifle at passing motorists and officers, authorities said.

The suspect was identified Monday as Alexander King, 17, an 11th-grader at Tarpon Springs High School, according to reports.

Police received multiple 911 calls about a “white male wearing dark clothing pointing a military-style rifle” at passing vehicles in Tarpon Springs, FOX 13 Tampa Bay reported.

Responding officers were on scene about 9:30 p.m. When they confronted King, he raised the weapon and pointed it at them, according to Chief Jeff Young of the Tarpon Springs Police Department.

Officers sought cover behind a nearby vehicle and discharged their weapons at the threat. The suspect was hit multiple times. He was transported to a local hospital but did not survive.

One motorist reported hearing King say, “shoot me” as he aimed the rifle at passing vehicles.

Although police received reports that King was possibly armed with an AK-style rifle, Young said King was actually carrying an airsoft rifle, FOX reported.

Back in March, King posted four photos and a video with the caption: “New Airsoft Vietnam era M14. I absolutely love it.”

Alexander King
Social media posts by King show he got the Airsoft gun in March. (Fox 13)

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Alex King,” Young said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the officers and their families as they, too, deal with the aftermath of this event.”

King had a felony arrest for battery on a school board employee in 2017 and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in 2018, among 22 prior interactions with police, according to FOX 13.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is handling the investigation, while TSPD conducts an internal inquiry, Young said. The officers involved in the encounter are on administrative leave per normal protocol.

Tarpon Springs is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast about 30 miles northwest of downtown Tampa.

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