in the Florida Keys on Wednesday fatally shot a pilot who was deputized
to carry guns on planes in what appears to be a “suicide by cop,”
Morgan Caviness, 48, was killed at a Key Largo home following reports
of an intoxicated, armed suicidal man, a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
news release said.
sheriff’s office had initially identified Caviness as an “off-duty
federal law enforcement officer.” The Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, a state agency investigating the shooting, later clarified
that Caviness was part of the Transportation Security Administration’s
Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. The program allows armed pilots and
flight crewmembers of passenger and cargo aircraft to defend against
acts of criminal violence or air piracy.
deputies had responded and observed an armed man at the home, officials
said. Deputies were able to reach Caviness by phone after he
disappeared from view. He told deputies he was intoxicated and was
prepared to confront law enforcement, officials said.
reappeared and pointed a gun at deputies, who responded by firing at
him, officials said. Deputies began first-aid, but the man was
a news release, Sheriff Rick Ramsay said that “although this appears to
be a suicide by cop situation,” state law enforcement officials will
conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.
Officials did not immediately disclose who the pilot worked for.