PORT ORANGE, Fla. — A 32-year-old man died during a standoff with law enforcement at a Port Orange 7-Eleven late Wednesday night.
- Man killed during police standoff at Port Orange 7-Eleven
- John Wurms wanted on aggravated stalking charge
- Officials say Wurms pointed gun at law enforcement
Officials say John Wurms died from a gunshot wound to the head, but it's still unclear whether it was law enforcement fire or Wurms' own fire that killed him.
Before the exchange of gunfire, deputies can be heard on body-cam video repeatedly asking Wurms to drop his weapon. Instead of dropping his gun, investigators say Wurms pointed it at his own head and then toward law enforcement. That's when Sheriff Mike Chitwood said a Volusia County deputy and Port Orange officers fired 16 rounds, striking Wurms three times.
Police were originally looking for Wurms after an arrest earlier this week on an aggravated stalking charge. Officials said Wurms ex-girlfriend called police Wednesday night saying Wurms had threatened her again.
“Dating violence and stalking seem to be his big thing,” said Sheriff Chitwood.
The sheriff says for more than a decade, Wurms has made it habit of stalking ex-girlfriends and repeatedly slashing their tires, racking up numerous aggravated stalking charges. He says this summer, Wurms made an ominous threat.
“He makes a phone call and talks about he wants to kill himself, but doesn’t have the guts to do it and is going to make the police do it,” said Sheriff Chitwood.
The sheriff says Wurms comes from a law enforcement family, his mother and father both deputy sheriff’s in Broward County. The sheriff says he had to have a difficult conversation with Wurms’ father on Thursday.
“He said he was a kid I could not reach,” said Sheriff Chitwood.
“No matter how hard me and his mom tried to reach him, we couldn’t reach him.”
Port Orange’s police chief says it all could’ve been avoided if Wurms followed law enforcement’s commands and got rid of his gun when they asked.
“Somebody lost their life, and it’s unfortunate because it didn’t have to happen – it was unnecessary,” said Port Orange Police Chief Thomas Grimaldi.
But they say in the end, their use of force was necessary to protect not only their lives, but also the lives of people in the community.
“He’s a dangerous individual armed with a firearm, and clearly there’s some type of mental illness at play here,” said Sheriff Chitwood.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting. The deputy and officers involved are all on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after such a shooting.