Shooting May Have Been Suicide By Cop

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A police detective has testified that a mentally troubled man fatally shot by a Florida deputy while carrying an air rifle may have been attempting to commit so-called “suicide by cop.”

Broward Sheriff’s Office Detective John Curcio also testified Thursday he believes Deputy Peter Peraza was justified in shooting 33-year-old Jermaine McBean in 2013. The testimony came at a hearing in which a judge granted Peraza’s attorney access to McBean’s mental health records.

Peraza is facing manslaughter charges for shooting McBean, who was carrying an authentic-looking air rifle across his shoulders at an apartment complex. McBean’s family insists he was listening to music through earbuds and did not hear commands to drop the rifle. McBean was black. Peraza is white.

Peraza faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.