A Genesee County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man that refused to follow police orders to drop his handgun, according to Undersheriff Gregory Walker.
Keith A. Kent, 61, of Albion, was shot outside the Indian Falls Log Cabin restaurant around 11 p.m. Wednesday.
Witnesses told deputies that Kent started some sort of disturbance inside and refused to leave.
“He was yelling threats. He was asking for them to come out and fight and making comments about where are the police,” said Walker.
Walker said as officers were en route to the scene for the initial call, they received updated information that Kent had a gun and was shooting.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they saw Kent with a handgun and ordered him to drop the weapon, but he refused, according to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. They say Kent fired at least one shot while police were actually there.
A deputy shot Kent. He died at the scene.
“Officers confronted the suspect, gave him numerous commands to drop the gun. He did not comply. The officers had to shoot, and they did kill the subject,” Walker said at a news conference Thursday morning.
Nine people were in the restaurant at the time of the incident, including customers. None of them were hurt.
Genesee County deputies wear body cameras. Investigators are reviewing that footage.
The Undersheriff didn’t say how many total shots were fired by Kent or deputies.
The deputy has been identified as Deputy Ryan W. Young. He is a 6-year law enforcement veteran who joined the Genesee County Sheriff's Office in 2016.
Deputies say this is the first officer-involved shooting for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in more than 40 years.
Kent was a logger in Albion. A woman who answered the phone at his business identified herself as his mother. She told 2 On Your Side, “There’s nothing else to say,” and hung up. A woman who answered the door at a home on the same property as the business also did not want to comment on what happened.
Police didn’t say anything about a motive.
A person claiming to be Kent purportedly sent a letter to the Batavia Daily News earlier this month, according to the paper’s managing editor, John Anderson. The five-page letter was signed Keith Alan Kent. It mentioned that Kent wanted to clear his name.
“We have talked to him and done interviews on him being arrested [in the past]. We like to talk to people who have been arrested, but this letter came in - it was five pages. It had a lot of accusations and was against our letter policy. We didn’t give it much thought until we found out he had shot at the restaurant. That’s when some of the text in this letter started to concern us a little bit,” said Anderson.
He said police are aware of the letter.