St. Petersburg, Florida -- An argument between neighbors over a dog touched off a series of confrontations that ended with a man shot dead on his front porch.

Theincidentoccurred at the house located on the 4400 block of10th Ave N.where Ronald Sexton, 23,was shot and killed by aSt. Petersburg police officerearly Monday morning.

Officers say Sexton's neighbor woke up after 1a.m. to the sound of Sexton taunting the neighbor's dog over the fence that separates their yards.

After exchanging words, the neighbor met Sexton at Sexton's front door.During that front porch confrontation, police say Sexton flashed a handgun in his waistband at the neighbor.

The neighbor backed off and called 911.

Police say when they got to the home, Sexton came out of the house and had apparently been drinking.

When he was told to get on the ground, "Sexton began to comply with their instructions, but then suddenly pulled a black semi-automatic handgun from his pants pocket and pointed it at one of the patrol officers," according to a news release from the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Three of the officers fired at Sexton, killing him on his front porch.

Police say Sexton's girlfriend and their 10-year-old son were in the house at the time. It's not clear whether they watched the shooting happen.

"I'm not sure if it's because there are more guns, or if it's a holiday weekend, we're not really quite sure what contributed to this particular incident," said St. Petersburg Police Dept. spokesman Bill Proffitt.

Sexton is the fourth person shot and killed by St. Petersburg Police this year, Proffitt said.

The officers involved will be on paid leave while the police department and the State Attorney's Office investigate to make sure the incident meets the legal standard of a justified shooting.

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