SEMMES, Ala. (WALA) -- The Mobile County Sheriff's Office said a deputy shot and killed a man who threatened him with a hammer Thursday afternoon.
Investigators said they received a report of a theft at the Walmart on Moffett Road in Semmes just before 1 p.m.
MCSO said the deputy who responded to the call spotted the suspect in the parking lot and confronted the man. According to investigators, the man was armed with a hammer and threatened the deputy.
“The man had a hammer over his head and he was lunging at the officer,” said Sal Passos.
The sheriff's office said the deputy first pulled a taser and told the man to drop the hammer. Captain Paul Burch said the suspect told the deputy, "You'll have to kill me or I'll kill you." The deputy then fired one shot and killed the suspect. The deputy was not injured.
“The sheriff kept telling him with his taser, stand back. Don’t do anything crazy," said Currie Slay.
The man has not been identified but Burch said he's a 34-year-old male from Mississippi who may have been living in Semmes.
"A claw hammer is a deadly weapon and we’re trained to address deadly force with deadly force," Burch said.
The name of the deputy has not been released. Burch said the deputy will be on paid leave during an internal investigation.
“It had to be done," Passos said. That officer’s life was in danger. We don’t know what that man would have done to anybody else that was just calmly walking through this parking lot or getting into their car or something, we don’t know.”