BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - The family of a 28-year-old Boca Raton man who was shot and killed by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputy Wednesday evening wants to know if the situation could have been handled any other way.
"The family is distraught of course. We don't understand what happened. None of it makes sense to use," said Randy Fishman, the uncle of the man shot and killed.
Fishman, who's also a lawyer, flew in from Memphis to help his family investigate the shooting death of his nephew Matthew Pollow.
Investigators said they were called out to the 2300 block of Camino del Mar regarding an "armed disturbance".
When they arrived, deputies said, they spotted Pollow and told him to removed his hands from his pockets. Detectives said he placed everything on a nearby car including a screwdriver. PBSO then said a deputy drew his weapon because Pollow had a "very disturbed" look on his face.
Investigators said Pollow then picked up the screwdriver and charged at the deputy. The deputy then opened fire. "In our society, we expect our law enforcement to know how to deal with people if you have somebody who's got an issue. We don't set them aside and shoot them and kill them," said Fishman.
Investigators also pointed to the criminal history of Pollow - arrested both in 2004 and 2005 for alleged domestic battery. "He was a nice young man, a jolly guy. My impression of him was that he wasn't out to hurt anybody," said Fishman.
PBSO paints a much different picture and said Pollow had mental health issues. Investigators said the actions of Pollow threatened the lives of their deputes.
"You know it's always dangerous for these guys and gals out here. And you know it's tough lately. You guys know that as well as we do. You see the violence out here," said Chief Deputy Michael Gauger with the sheriff's office.
Fishman said his main concern is whether the situation could have been handled any other way. "I'm confused as to why that type of force was necessary under that set of circumstances. We're talking about a man's life here," said Fishman.
PBSO has not released the names of the deputies involved.
The family of Matthew Pollow plans to speak at a press conference in more detail on Friday afternoon.
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