07/31/2013 02:01 pm ET

Roy Middleton, Unarmed African-American, Shot By Cops Who Say He 'Lunged' At Them

Days after Florida authorities shot an unarmed African-American in his own driveway, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan tried to explain his deputies' actions.

The Associated Press reports:

Morgan said Monday that the deputies responded to a 911 call about a possible burglary early Saturday and found 60-year-old Roy Middleton searching through the car. The deputies reported they told Middleton to show his hands multiple times, but he lunged out of the car and spun toward them. Morgan said the deputies feared for their safety and opened fire, hitting Middleton in the leg.

Middleton said he was searching for a cigarette in his mother's vehicle. When he heard a voice from behind telling him to put his hands in the air, Middleton said he thought it was a joke. As he turned around to see who was behind him, deputies opened fire, according to Middleton.

Democracy Now reports that Middleton said he was holding keys with a metal flashlight attached when the deputies unleashed 15 rounds on him, "shattering Middleton’s leg and riddling the car with bullets." reports that Middleton is in good condition and expected home on Wednesday. His mom, Ceola Walker, said her son is lucky to be alive.

"He could’ve been killed," Walker said. "The Lord shielded him."



Police Brutality Incidents