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Lake City Officer Kills Armed Tennessee Driver at Safety Checkpoint

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The state is investigating a Friday night incident at a safety checkpoint that ended with an armed driver shot to death by a Lake City police officer.

Michael Lee
Lake City Police Officer Michael Lee is on leave after shooting an armed driver.

Officers stopped the driver, Jimmy Eugene Barker, of Louisville, Tenn., at a pre-scheduled DUI checkpoint in the Lake City Professional Plaza parking lot.

Barker was driving with his brother around 11:49 p.m., police spokesman Craig Strickland said.

Barker, 60, pointed a handgun out of the window of his black Dodge pickup truck at the officers who approached him. Officer Michael Lee grabbed hold of Barker’s gun, struggled, then shot Barker with his duty firearm, according to a police department release.

Barker died at the scene in the 1400 block of U.S. 90 West, across from the Florida Highway Patrol. Lee and Barker’s brother were unharmed, according to the release.

The brother was bused back to Tennessee after cooperating with FDLE, Strickland said.

The officer is under three separate investigations, the police spokesman said. He’s on administrative leave until an internal investigation finishes. A state attorney’s investigation will lead to a grand jury, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is looking into the incident as well.

Lee has been with LCPD since June 2010. He’s created some business training programs for the department, according to the Lake City Journal.

In March 2013, Lake City Police Chief Agatha Gilmore gave Lee that year’s Commander-in-Chief award, the highest honor she gives, according to the Journal.

Lee previously worked as a University of Florida Police Department service technician, FDLE capitol police officer and Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco special agent, according to the Journal.

Another officer shooting happened in 2012, the spokesman said. The officer involved, Brian Bruenger, returned to work after two or three weeks.

About Wade Millward

Wade is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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