WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Police on Monday said an officer shot and killed a man who pointed an AK-47 at him in downtown West Palm Beach on Saturday night.
Officer Christopher Nebbeling was patrolling the annual Moonfest event and responded to a call of shots fired near Tamarind Avenue and 6th Street.
A neighbor gave authorities a description of a car involved and Nebbeling followed the vehicle.
Police pulled over the car, but three people fled the scene and ran into a neighborhood near Parker Avenue and Howard Park.
Officers said one of the passengers in the car, Dimetri Polen, 24, had an AK-47 and pointed it at Nebbeling, prompting him to shoot and kill Polen.
"The Moonfest event was ongoing. City Place was packed with people. If this individual would have gotten to one of those places, the carnage he could have caused is unthinkable. So, Nebbeling in my mind is a hero," said West Palm Beach Police Chief Vincent Demasi.
Polen had been shot two weeks ago and had a lengthy criminal record, said police.
As of noon Monday, the other two people who fled from the car have not been charged.
Police say the shooting on Tamarind Avenue stemmed from gang activity.
Nebbeling is on standard paid administrative leave.