James Fay: Wife of Boynton Beach man fatally shot by PBSO breaks silence, says he 'had a big heart'

Man shot had prior criminal record in Oregon

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- - The wife of James Steven Fay, the Boynton Beach man who was shot and killed by two Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies for allegedly failing to drop his gun, said she cannot believe what happened to her husband of nearly four years.

"Jim was loved and respected by all whose lives he touched," said Katherine Fay via text message. "He had a big heart and tried to help people whenever possible. For those of us who knew and loved him, we will never forget him."

Investigators said they were responding to a 'disturbance call' when they arrived at the residence in a Boynton Beach gated community Monday night.

Deputies said Fay got into a fight with his friend, pulled out his gun and refused to put it down when deputies arrived.
    
"I can't even believe it happened. It's just really bizarre. I mean we're just all, dumbfounded," said Eddie Murton, a friend and co-worker.

Murton said the desk where Fay worked at Riska's Construction Company has sat empty since news of his death broke.

"He was really a law-abiding guy," said Murton. "I can't even imagine him getting a speeding ticket."

Fay did not have any prior run-ins with the law in Florida according to PBSO.

In Oregon, where Fay previously lived, his criminal past was different.

Fay was convicted of "menacing" in 2001, "DUI" and "refusal to take a breathalyzer" in 2004 and "menacing" and "disorderly conduct" in 2008.
    
"If he came out and brandished a weapon, you'd imagine police run into that a lot. If he pulled a gun on them, I guess they did what they had to do," said Murton.

The two deputies involved in the fatal shooting are on paid, administrative leave. This is standard protocol.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is expected to release their identities on Wednesday.

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