Deputy shoots, kills sword-wielding suspect

Manatee County, Florida -- A man is dead after being shot by a deputy after he charged at the 10-year veteran with a samurai sword.

Deputies say 31-year-old Terry Sellars, Jr. was about to be picked up for beating his mother.

"He wasn't a bad kid, he didn't deserve what happened to him now," says Sabrina Yawn, Sellars' aunt. "TJ was a normal kid in today's society," she adds.

But many would argue that the circumstances surrounding his death are far from normal.

Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube says Sellar's mother called 911 on Thursday and said she was being "beaten by her son."

Deputies say around 8 a.m. Sellar's mother first attempt to call 911 from their home off 58 Ave. East but failed. She made a second call from the Circle K off State Road 70 after she escaped.

"She said she had been struck with a telephone book twice then she was choked," explains Steube. He adds, "Her son did this and would not let her out of her house."

When deputies arrived at the home to arrest Sellars for false imprisonment and domestic battery, Stellars made his move.

"Before the 3 deputies in the vehicle actually got out of the car the son bolted out of the front door with a very large samurai sword and charged at one of our deputies. Our deputy backing up fired several shots," says Steube.

A neighbor two blocks away saw a sheriff's helicopter flying overhead at the time.

"I heard gun shots," says neighbor Jenn Robb. How many gun shots? Robb says, "5 or 6."

Sellars aunt says, "He was beautiful person inside and out. He was never given a real chance. Seemed like every time he takes a few steps somebody slams a door in his face." She adds, "If anything he could have used some help."

Sheriff Steube says Sellars' criminal record speaks for itself. He's been arrested 17 times by Manatee County deputies with charges including battery, robbery and an assault on a law enforcement officer.

Steube says, "You have a man charging at you with a sword, you don't have very many choices."

Click here to see his arrest records.

See Also:


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories