The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating a shooting in Anna Maria after a 911 response by island law enforcement to a possible suicide near the playhouse at the intersection of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue.
A deputy from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, an officer from Bradenton Beach and a Holmes Beach officer and Chief Bill Tokajer responded at about 7:25 p.m. Dec. 30 to Anna Maria. MCSO public information director David Bristow said the call concerned a man threatening to harm himself.
The subject, Douglas Schofield, 45, was found in a parked car near Island Players.
When asked to exit the vehicle, Schofield allegedly complied, but held a weapon in each hand — a hatchet and a knife — and made a verbal threat to the law enforcement officers gathered in front of him.
Tokajer told The Islander that Schofield approached them, asking, “Which one of you wants to die tonight?”
Bradenton Beach Police Officer Eric Hill shot Schofield when he allegedly made a turn toward him.
An MCSO deputy also used an electronic control weapon during the incident, Bristow said in a news release.
Schofield was reported in stable condition after surgery at a local hospital.
Tokajer told The Islander Dec. 31, “No officer ever wants to discharge their weapon in the performance of their duty. In this case, all the involved officers did what they are trained to do n… the action that was taken was to stop the life-threatening aggressive action towards them.
Tokajer added, “We hope Mr. Schofield can get the help he needs and deserves as a military veteran.”