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September 18, 2014

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Undersheriff says victim acted bizarrely in days prior to fatal officer-involved shooting

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Metro Police

Undersheriff Jim Dixon, shown in a screen shot of a Metro video, conducts a media briefing, providing details of the April 8, 2014, officer-involved shooting that left a man dead.

A few weeks before Travis Doering aimed a rifle at police officers and was shot and killed, roommates noticed his behavior had begun to deteriorate, Metro Police said today.

Undersheriff Jim Dixon spoke to media this afternoon to detail Metro’s version of events leading up to the officer-involved fatal shooting April 8 in the 5600 block of Maceta Drive, near Twain Avenue. Roommates told police Doering, 40, had stopped working and sleeping, and had begun talking to imaginary people in the days leading up to the shooting.

On the day of the shooting, a roommate feared Doering’s erratic behavior had become dangerous. The roommate notified Metro about 3:20 a.m. that Doering was armed with an assault rifle, acting mentally unstable and talking to himself, Dixon said.

Police, including a SWAT unit, responded, while a crisis-intervention officer spoke on the phone with Doering for more than 90 minutes. During the conversation, Doering, who was armed with a Norinco SKS rifle, walked in and out of the home, Dixon said.

At the end of the conversation, Doering set the rifle on the driveway and paced. A moment later he picked it up, placed a magazine onto it, chambered a round of ammunition and aimed the rifle at two uniformed officers, Dixon said.

It was then that SWAT Officer John Wiggins shot Doering. Doering was taken to University Medical Center, where he died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Police also recovered a MAC-10 semi-automatic pistol and additional ammunition for the SKS rifle inside the home, Dixon said.

Wiggins, 41, has been placed on routine paid administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed. He has worked for Metro since 2002, and is assigned to the Metro Emergency Operations Bureau SWAT section, police said.

The shooting remains under investigation.

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