Cops: Man told police ‘Go ahead and kill me’
St. Petersburg, Fla. — Before 18-year-old Austin Goodner was killed by Florida police on Sunday, authorities said he argued with four people near a city pool, shot a man on a bike in the arm and then shot an officer in the leg.
“A suspect shot at my officers, and they returned fire so they could go home,” St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway said Monday at a news conference.
Goodner was known to officers, Holloway said, having been involuntarily committed twice in 2011. He had also been previously arrested for aggravated battery, the chief said.
On Sunday, Goodner made a comment to four people “about their sexual orientation” at near a pool near the city’s downtown, Holloway said. Goodner then rode away on his bike, and officers said he confronted another man on a bike. He fired one shot and hit the man in the arm, police said.
Officers said they then went to the home Goodner shared with his parents and said they found Goodner in the backyard, holding a .9mm gun.
Goodner raised the weapon at the officers, and that’s when they shot him, officials said. Holloway said Goodner returned fire and struck 40-year-old officer Michael Cordiviola in the leg. The officer was dragged away from the scene by a fellow policeman and used a nearby hose as a tourniquet.
Holloway said Goodner yelled, “Go ahead and kill me” to the officers as the shootout occurred.
The officers fired and hit Goodner. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Officials are looking into how Goodner obtained the weapon. Authorities say his parents told them they wouldn’t have a gun in the house.
The county’s state attorney is reviewing the shootings, which is routine for any police shooting that results in death.
Cordiviola, the injured officer, is recovering in a local hospital and is expected to be released later this week.