"Everyone respects the gun": cop who shot dead suicidal man

Justin Way, newly jobless, drunk, and lying in bed with a large knife, threatened to kill himself. His worried girlfriend called the local sheriff's department for help. Police, armed with assault rifles, barged in and killed him.

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“The only person Justin threatened was himself," The Daily Beast quotes Kaitlyn Christine Lyons, "and I honestly don’t think he wanted to die.”

Gina Tron reports that the police immediately had trouble getting their stories straight.

Minutes later, two St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies, 26-year-old Jonas Carballosa and 32-year-old Kyle Braig, arrived at the home, armed with assault rifles, and told Kaitlyn to wait outside.

George Way said the initial report he received from Det. Mike Smith detailed an incident wherein his officers said they were attacked by Justin with a knife. Way said Smith told him Justin had threatened Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn denies this.

Denise Way, Justin’s mom, said that the detective relayed to her that “they told Justin to drop the knife and he didn’t—so they shot him because that’s what we do.”

A telling detail: the bullet apparently went through the mattress, and Justin's blood was contained within the mattress, suggesting he had not risen from the bed when Carballosa and Braig decided to kill him.

The Florida Times-Union reported that the call was to 911 and posted the call to the Sheriff's Office.

In the call, Kaitlyn is clearly distraught and desperate for help: "I can tell you for a fact that he won't hurt me."

The 12-minute audio clip starts with the woman saying her boyfriend “has threatened to kill himself twice now; what do I do and who do I call?” her voice cracking with emotion at the end. “ ... He recently lost his job, in addition to he’s also been drinking.”

Justin Edward Way was armed with a machete-like serrated knife when Deputies Kyle Braig and Jonas Carballosa entered through a door his girlfriend said was unlocked and shot him in the chest and abdomen during the confrontation, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Asked if it was standard procedure to respond to suicidal person calls with police armed with assault rifles rather than medical professionals, Commander Chuck Mulligan of the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said that “if the deputies feel that that is the appropriate weapon system to use, then yes."

One of the officers has sterns words for people who disrespect him.

On Facebook, Jonas Carballosa, the second deputy involved in the Justin Way shooting, once posted the following quote: “Most people respect the badge. Everyone respects the gun.”

If you ever need to call the police to deal with a problem, bear in mind Officer Carballosa's appreciation of how problems are solved.