Treasure Coast police shot and killed 29 year old Zachary Taylor Anderson, a patient under Baker Act at the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital Saturday night after he allegedly wielded scissors against deputies, as seen in newly released body cam video.
The Indian River Sheriff’s County is not identifying the deputies involved, who are currently on paid administrative leave.
Due to a lack of available beds, Anderson along with other patients were lying on gurneys in the ER hallway around 10:30 p.m., according to the sheriff.
Fortunately, four deputies, rather than the standard single officer, were already in the ER that evening due to unrelated incidents.
“The four of them are standing by the nurses station talking…the 29-year-old white male makes the decision to stand up from his gurney, he grabs a pair of scissors, and he’s running through the hospital,” Flowers said. “He actually runs through the middle of the emergency room and ultimately comes out right where the deputies were standing.”
According to the sheriff, the deputies then chased the maniacal patient.
“As they close in on him, he turns, raised the scissors up above his head. At that point our deputies began to retreat back,” Flowers said, “they draw their weapons and two of the deputies fire, shooting and killing this man.
“The deputy who was closest to him and fired said, ‘I thought it was a knife.’ It was so fast, five seconds, he thought that he raised a knife.”
Sheriff Flowers said his deputies did not have much space or time to think and he commends them for the actions they took.
“Were it not for their SWAT training, the two deputies that fired, there’s no way they would’ve reacted as they did,” he said. “This man was definitely intent to either commit suicide by cop or hurt somebody inside of the hospital. Nobody wants to take a life. Our folks never want to have to do that, but in this instance, they were so close to him and he was charging at them with those sharp scissors so they had no choice but to do what they did.”
The Indian River Sheriff’s Office released the bodycam video from one of the deputies and has subpoenaed video from the hospital’s camera, which Flowers said gives a much more clear view of what happened.
The Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital also released a statement:
“On Saturday, March 26, 2022, an incident occurred at the Indian River Hospital Emergency Department. While at our facility, a patient behaved in a threatening manner which resulted in the use of deadly force by deputies who were already on site. This incident is under investigation, and we are cooperating with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.”