NORTH LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said they were forced to shoot and kill a man armed with a knife who charged at them at a strip mall in North Lauderdale.
Cameras captured an active scene in the parking lot of the shopping center near a Ross store along the 7300 block of West McNab Road, Thursday night.
According to investigators, 26-year-old Jeffrey Guy Sacks was carrying a knife as he walked inside of the Ross at around 9 p.m. Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said he was waving the knife around and cutting himself.
“He was just outside before that even happened, pacing like a person thinking about something,” a witness said. “He was pacing in front of the door.”
According to court documents, the 26-year-old faced mental health challenges in the past and had a minor criminal record.
Officials said Guy Sacks exited the store, and that is when responding deputies talked to the man and tried to have him put the knife down.
The sheriff said the subject made threats, not only to himself but to the deputies as well.
“We received multiple calls into our communications center,” Tony said. “Unfortunately, the individual did not comply, charged toward our deputies with a knife in his hand, at which time, several rounds were fired.”
Officials said the 26-year-old was transported to Broward Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Tony said a bystander recorded the incident on their cellphone, and they handed the video over to investigators.
“We have a chance to see this independently transpire, and I think our deputies did an outstanding job trying to de-escalate this,” said Tony.
Shantel, a witness who did not give her last name, said she was about to leave the Elegant Beauty Supply Store when the shots were fired.
“Just seeing that, it was very, very traumatic,” Shantel said. “I was in tears. My mom kind of pushed me back. I grabbed my daughter, and I just ran for cover.”
One shopper said he wished the incident had a different outcome.
“They could have tased him or tackled him, not used the gun, like to shoot the guy,” said the shopper.
“It’s really shocking. I’m not going to lie,” said another shopper. “It’s super shocking.”
“When I got home, I prayed,” Shantel said. “This morning, when I got up, like, every loud sound that I hear, I’m like, I relive that moment.”
Tony said deputies are not trained to use a non-lethal weapon, such as a Taser, when a subject is charging at them with a potentially deadly weapon.
The deputy who fired the rounds has been placed on administrative leave.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the incident.