By Phillip Smith
A Tampa, Florida, police SWAT team attempting to carry out a drug search warrant shot and killed a man they said pointed a gun at them Tuesday night. Jason Joseph Westcott, 29, becomes the 19th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
According to Bay News 9, citing police sources, the residence had been under surveillance after undercover officers bought "narcotics" there on several occasions since March. A SWAT team was used in the raid because police knew Westcott had guns in the home.
The Bay News 9 story used anodyne language to describe the raid, saying only that police "entered" the residence. It is not clear from the reporting whether this was a no-knock raid or how the police entered the residence.
Police said one man in the front of the house surrendered when the SWAT team entered, but that Westcott, who was found armed in a back room, pointed his gun and officers and was then shot.
Although police repeatedly referred to "narcotics," the only "narcotic" Westcott was accused of selling was marijuana. Police found a hydroponic marijuana grow in his home.
Westcott had no prior criminal record except for one incident of driving without a license.