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Indiantown community seeks answers in wake of fatal deputy-involved shooting

Posted at 4:26 AM, Oct 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-30 12:07:36-04

The community of Indiantown wants to know why a Martin County Sheriff’s Office deputy shot a man, killing him late Friday night.

Community activists, the NAACP, church leaders, friends and family prayed and supported each other Sunday evening at the site where the man died, Martin Luther King Drive and Charleston Road in Indiantown.

"They wanted to just show the family that Jerry was not just anyone, but he was actually a part of this community and he was loved," said James Richardson, the man's brother who traveled down to Indiantown from Alabama this weekend.

MCSO said they are running fingerprint tests to identify the man, but family members said his name is Jerry Richardson.

“If they don’t remember anything else about Jerry, he was on that bicycle and guess what? He was cutting hair. He was a mobile barber on wheels basically," James Richardson said.

MCSO has yet to specify exactly what happened between Richardson and the deputy who shot him, but the sheriff's office has said he was carrying a two-foot machete.  Investigators also said the shooting victim had an aggressive encounter with law enforcement last month in which he threatened a Martin County sergeant. 

A witness said Richardson did not provoke the deputy Friday night, and he believes he was shot unfairly.

"He’s always a very sweet, soft-spoken person," James Richardson said.

MCSO is expected to release more information about the shooting Monday afternoon.

As everyone waits to hear more, Richardson’s brother asks the community for one thing.

“Even while the investigation is going on, there is going to be peace, and it will be of the utmost respect because that’s where we come from and that’s what we believe," he said.

The community plans to hold a town hall meeting about Richardson's death at 7 p.m. Monday at Bible Teachers International on Martin Luther King Drive.

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