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Tampa, Florida -- A deputy was in fear of his life when he shot a man who ignored orders to drop his gun, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators say Deputy Woods was responding to a domestic dispute 911 call around 6:26 a.m. in theOak Bend apartments, west of USF and University Mall. A woman made the call, saying she was visiting a friend when she saw her boyfriend, Carlos Rivera-Rodriguez, was at the apartment, and she could hear him racking a gun.

"They had called advising that they had seen him with a firearm and he was threatening to do harm to them," says Col. Donna Lusczynski.

Click here for photos from the scene

When Woods arrived at the apartment complex, Rodriguez was outside of the apartment with a weapon, according to the Sheriff's Office, and he alsoheard the suspect rack the gun. Woods reportedly made several demands for the Rodriguez to drop the gun before firing.

"They shot him fearing he was going to shoot them,"Lusczynski says.

Neighbors describe hearing the sound of gunshots echo across the apartment complex.

"Next thing I know, 'Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam,'" says Nada Lovett, who lives next to the apartment where the 911 call was made. "You wave a gun at a cop, even if it's a fake one, you're going to get shot. They have to protect themselves. They have families. They have lives."

"I heard the police tell the dude to put it down, and say 'Don't do it, don't do it," says Mike Williams, who also lives in the complex. "After about three times, I heard six gunshots."

Deputy James Woods is on routine paid administrative leave, and was not injured in the shooting. Rodriguez is in critical condition at St. Joseph's Hospital and underwent surgery Wednesday morning.

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