Lakeland Police officer shoots naked man armed with gun

Photo of the scene courtesy Lakeland Police Department

LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) – A man is in critical condition after he was shot by a Lakeland police officer Monday night.

The incident started around 8:45 p.m. Monday when the man’s girlfriend called police to request officers watch over her as she retrieved some personal items from her boyfriend’s home on Turtle Rock Drive. She wanted officers to stand-by to avoid a confrontation with the man, identified as Wesley Cook, who turned 44-years old on Tuesday.

Two officers responded to the home and knocked on the door, as they wanted to speak with him regarding obtaining the female’s personal property, including her cell phone, which police say Cook had taken during an earlier dispute.

That is when police say Cook answered the door naked, carrying a black handgun.

Both officers backed up while giving commands for Cook to drop the handgun, however he still came through the door armed with the gun, a spokesman said. That’s when one of the officers felt threatened and fired. Cook was struck approximately four times and taken to Lakeland Regional Health Hospital in critical condition. A loaded 40 caliber semi-automatic firearm was recovered next to the suspect.

Police identified the officer who opened fire as Paul Dunn, 46. He has been employed by the department for 2 ½ years. Per department policy, he was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Cook has not been charged at this time and the investigation is still ongoing. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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