When a Florida man told his girlfriend he planned to kill himself, she called the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office for help. He’s “threatened to kill himself twice now; what do I do and who do I call?” she asked the 911 operator, adding “He recently lost his job, in addition to he’s also been drinking.”
Two deputies responded to the condo where 28-year-old Justin Way lay in bed holding the serrated knife he was threatening to use on himself. They told his girlfriend to wait outside, entered his bedroom, and shot him in the chest and abdomen, allegedly before he could even sit up.
Way’s girlfriend Kaitlyn Lyons, told the Daily Beast that she assumed Way would be “Baker Acted”—involuntarily committed for his own protection—and that he never threatened to hurt her or anyone else with the knife.
Although Lyons can be heard on the 911 call saying that Way wouldn’t hurt her, the police report given to Way’s father says he attacked two deputies with a knife. George Way finds that strange, though, because he saw the mattress from his son’s room.
From the Daily Beast:
Justin’s parents do not believe their son was a threat, because they think Justin was shot while still lying in bed.
“If Justin was coming after them with a knife, at 6-foot-4, wouldn’t there be blood splattered all over the room?” George said.
Way’s parents brought Justin’s mattress to the curb after his death. George says he believes there was a bullet dug out of the bed from a hole found in the middle of it. He also said the blood was contained entirely within the mattress, and that it did not hit the walls or the floor.
Way’s parents also allege a detective told them “they told Justin to drop the knife and he didn’t—so they shot him because ‘that’s what we do,’” and implied that Way had committed “suicide by cop.”
One of the deputies involved in the shooting, Kyle Braig, was involved in the fatal shooting of another man armed with a knife last December, and the Daily Beast points out this chilling Facebook comment from the other deputy, Jonas Carballosa:
“Most people respect the badge. Everyone respects the gun.”