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IRCSO: Man fatally shot after threatening deputies with a sword

Posted at 12:41 PM, Nov 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-03 08:46:37-05

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. -- A man died after being shot while he was attacking deputies in Indian River County.

Early Friday, November 1, 2019, deputies with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office responded to a home in the 1100 block of 35th Avenue SW.

Deputies had visited the home on two previous occasions earlier in the evening to address 29-year-old Michael Kifer, who they say was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Deputies learned that Kifer was armed with a knife and had made threats to phone to harm another individual.

When deputies arrived, Kifer fled on foot and reappeared a short time later with a small hatchet.

Deputies chased him and he fled back into his residence.

Deputies confirmed that no other people were inside the home.

According to the Sheriff's Office, multiple attempts were made to contact Kifer inside the home with no response.

The Indian River County SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiations Team were activated and called to the scene.

The front door of the home was breached while deputies continued to attempt to make contact with Kifer from outside.

Deputies observed motion in the southeast bedroom, which family members confirmed was a room belonging to Kifer.

SWAT breached the window of that room at which time Kifer was seen holding a small sword with a blade about 12 inches long.

According to deputies, Kifer was shouting, "Shoot me!" along with other profanities.

SWAT officers fired four beanbag rounds at Kifer, which had no effect on him.

Kifer continued to move around the inside of the home armed with the sword, while occasionally popping out to shout at deputies.

During a moment when he stepped outside of a side door, a deputy fired a stun gun, which also had no effect on Kifer.

Shortly thereafter, Kifer ran from the home armed with the sword. SWAT and deputies followed him giving commands for him to drop the sword and comply. Kifer again yelled, "Shoot me!"

Deputies fired a stun gun at him two more times, which did not faze him.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Kifer then charged at a deputy and the deputy fired one shot, striking Kifer.

Michael Kifer was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries early Saturday.

Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated, “Our deputies deployed four less-lethal beanbag rounds and four taser cartridges in an attempt to take Kifer into custody without incident. None of these had any effect on Kifer. He was set on committing suicide by law enforcement last night and he forced our hand where we had to take action. These are unfortunate situations but we are proud of the work of the brave men and women of the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office who did their best last night to bring this very dangerous situation to a resolution.”

The deputy who fired his weapon was placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol for these types of incidents.

A search warrant of the home was conducted early Saturday.