Gunman killed at Florida courthouse

7:39 PM, Feb 28, 2014   |    comments
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A man with a gun was arguing with police at the Brevard County courthouse in Viera on Friday morning. (Photo: TIM WALTERS/FLORIDA TODAY)

Update: 1:55 p.m.

The Moore Justice Center in Viera will close for the rest of the day after BCSO SWAT deputies shot and killed a man with a gun outside the building about 1 p.m. today.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey addressed media at the courthouse. The man with the gun who was killed has not been publicly identified. A bomb squad remains at the courthouse to examine a backpack or bag the man carried with him; Ivey said the man has made bomb threats to the courthouse before.

New details: Ivey said one of the man's relatives called police this morning.

"We also received a call this morning from a relative that was telling us he was on the way to the courthouse and he was coming here to do harm and that this was going to be it," the sheriff said.

Palm Bay police negotiator Officer C.J. Wronka was at the courthouse for an ongoing trial and tried to negotiate with the man. About three hours later, with civilians safely inside the courthouse, the BCSO SWAT team moved in.

Ivey said they tried to subdue the man with a Taser twice.

"As our SWAT team started to get close, they attempted to deploy - he had the firearm in his waistband at this point - they attempted to deploy non-lethal, and he responded to that in an aggressive fashion. Our team responded with lethal fire and he is deceased at the scene," the sheriff said.

"We never want to see these end this way. There's no doubt about that. We always would like to see it end peacefully but unfortunately this one did not."

Two schools near the courthouse, Viera High and Viera Charter, were on lockdown most of the school day.

Viera High's lockdown will be lifted at 2 p.m., according to Brevard Public Schools.

Viera Charter remains on lockdown; no word yet on when it will be lifted.

Check back for updates.

Update: 1:15 p.m.
A live feed of the situation from FLORIDA TODAY news partner WKMG Local 6 shows a robot moving into the area near where the man with the gun was pacing. The robot is working with a bag or backpack on the curb in front of the courthouse.

(Information from

Update: 10:55 a.m.
Police with guns drawn, including rifles and hand guns, are still in the parking lot of the Justice center. Police cars have barricaded the parking lot entrance. There are now approximately 20 officers, including snipers on the rooftop. Spectators have been forced behind the Justice center for safety.

Update: 10:22 a.m.
A man on Friday morning had a gun when he was at the Brevard County courthouse in Viera. Police are talking to him. More information to follow.

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