A 55-year-old man, earlier reported missing, was shot dead by Broward Sheriff’s deputies in a tense standoff this morning at a Weston apartment complex. Mario Bonilla, the man identified from the encounter, was allegedly armed and became confrontational before being fatally shot by law enforcement, according to officials.
The incident occurred in the 1400 block of Capri Lane at the 10X Weston complex, not far from Interstate 75. Deputies arrived on the scene after reports of a "possible suspicious person" surfaced around 9 a.m., as reported by NBC Miami. The encounter escalated rapidly when "he got out of the vehicle, he was armed with a weapon. He was given verbal commands to drop that weapon, he did not. Instead, he charged at the deputies, causing one of the deputies to fire his weapon," BSO spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright explained in a statement obtained by NBC Miami.
Bonilla was pronounced dead at the scene, marking a tragic end to the previous day's search when BSO had announced him as missing and endangered. The nature of the weapon Bonilla possessed has not been specified by officials.
Witness Wanda Cordero, Bonilla's mother-in-law, arrived at the scene, distressed by the events that unfolded. She revealed a more personal side of the deceased, "I don’t know why this happened. I do not know why. Here’s the nicest person," Cordero told Local 10. She recounted recent memories, "Last week he was at home, at dinner, had dinner with me, was so thankful. We don’t know what’s happening." Authorities are considering the possibility that this was a case of "suicide by cop," a scenario where a person acts threateningly towards police officers in the hope of being shot.
The shooting is currently under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The deputy involved in the shooting has not been named pending the results of the ongoing investigation.