An armed robber was shot dead as he approached the entrance of a busy Publix grocery story on North Congress Avenue in Boynton, Florida Sunday evening, police said.

The Palm Beach Post reported that the robbery suspect, whose name was not disclosed, had robbed or attempted to rob a Dollar Tree store across the street, Michael G. Gregory, police Chief of the Boynton Beach Police Department, said.

Police responded to an armed robbery at a Dollar Tree on North Congress Avenue near Hypoluxo Road around 5:15 p.m., police said.

Four minutes later, other officers already at the Publix store identified the man as he approached the grocery store, noted that he was armed and ordered him to stop, according to The Palm Beach Post.

“The subject did not obey those commands and began to reach for a firearm,” Chief Gregory told reporters. “By that time, the officers were very close to the front door of Publix, and the suspect was indicating he was about to enter the Publix shopping plaza. As he continued to draw the firearm, the officers took action to stop that threat and basically protect the hundreds of people who were inside shopping and working this afternoon.”

The suspect was killed and no officers were injured, police said, WPEC CBS12 News reported.

All officer-involved shootings will be on administrative leave in accordance to Boynton Beach Police policy and investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Chief Gregory said.

Chief Gregory also emphasized that the man was armed and had a criminal history, according to The Palm Beach Post.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident. Publix is now closed and the public is asked to avoid the area.

The crime scene at Publix would take a few hours to process and then the store will reopen, Christopher Woehr, an assistant special agent in charge with FDLE, said.

No further information was available.

Categories: U.S. Florida