Man shot, killed after exchanging gunfire with police during welfare check, cops say

Clearwater police are investigating an officer-involved shooting in the 1400 block of Gulf to Bay Boulevard early Wednesday.

Police were called to an apartment at 1444 Gulf to Bay Boulevard after a woman’s Facebook post asked someone to check on her, WFLA News Channel 8 reported.

Officers went to the apartment for a welfare check after the woman, Annie Vann, told a family member her boyfriend had a gun and wsa “beating her up,” according to police. While talking to Vann, a man later identified as Wayne Falana Jr. “ambushed” the responding officers and fired several shots, according to police.

Falana ran to the front of the apartment and shot through the glass front door before running into the road, according to police.

Wayne Falana Jr.jpg
Wayne Falana Jr. was shot and killed by Clearwater police after exchanging gunfire with officers during a welfare check Wednesday morning. Clearwater Police Department

One officer was struck by a bullet in the boot and was “narrowly missed” by a second round that penetrated his clothing but did not cause injury, according to police. That officer was treated at the scene, WFLA reported.

Four officers returned fire, and Falana was shot multiple times. He died at the scene, according to police.

All four officers will be placed on paid administrative leave.

Police are looking for Vann, who left the area when Falana started shooting, to check on her well-being and discuss the events that led to the incident. Vann is described as having green hair and was last seen wearing a cheetah sweater and plaid pajama pants, according to police.

Annie Vann.jpg
Clearwater police are looking for Annie Vann, who left the area during the shooting, to check on her well-being and discuss the events that led to the incident. Clearwater Police Department

Anyone with information on Vann’s whereabouts is asked to call Clearwater police at 727-562-4317.

The incident is being investigated by the Office of the State Attorney, Clearwater Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and the Office of Professional Standards.