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Officials: Deputies fatally shot pilot deputized to possess gun

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) Deputies in the Florida Keys on Wednesday fatally shot a pilot who was simply deputized to transport guns on planes in what is apparently a suicide by cop, officials said.

Lane Morgan Caviness, 48, was killed at an integral Largo home following reports of an intoxicated, armed suicidal man, a Monroe County Sheriffs Office news release said.

The sheriffs office had initially identified Caviness being an off-duty federal police officer. The Florida Department of POLICE, circumstances agency investigating the shooting, later clarified that Caviness was portion of the Transportation Security Administrations Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. This program allows armed pilots and flight crewmembers of passenger and cargo aircraft to guard against acts of criminal violence or air piracy.

Multiple deputies had responded and observed an armed man at the house, officials said. Deputies could actually reach Caviness by phone after he disappeared from view. He told deputies he was intoxicated and was ready to confront police, officials said.

Caviness reappeared and pointed a gun at deputies, who responded by firing at him, officials said. Deputies began first-aid, however the man was pronounced dead.

In a news release, Sheriff Rick Ramsay said that although this is apparently a suicide by cop situation, state police will conduct an unbiased investigation of the shooting.

Officials didn’t immediately disclose who the pilot worked for.

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