The police officer who opened fire on an unarmed man in North Miami, Florida has broken his silence.
In a statement released by the police union, the officer said, "I took this job to save lives and help people. I did what I had to do in a split second to accomplish that and hate to hear others paint me as something I'm not."
The officer has been identified as Jonathan Aledda, 30, who has been on the force for four years, WSVN reported.
Aledda is part of the city's SWAT team.
He shot behavior therapist Charles Kinsey, who was sitting on the pavement near a man who has autism, NBC News reported. A 911 caller had said that the second man had a gun, causing police to respond. The reported gun was, in reality, a toy truck.
Kinsey had held his hands in the air, lying on pavement, telling police that he was unarmed in cellphone video leading up to, and after, the shooting.
John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association in Dale County said that the officer thought Kinsey's life was in danger, NBC News reported.
"It appeared to the officers that the white male was trying to do harm to Mr. Kinsey," Rivera said. "In fearing for Mr. Kinsey's life, the officer discharged his firearm trying to save Mr. Kinsey's life and he missed."
The man with autism had run away from a group home and Kinsey said he was trying to help him when everything happened, The Associated Press reported.
Kinsey has been released from a hospital.
The officer is on administrative leave and could face charges depending on the results of an investigation.
A second officer is also on leave without pay. Emile Hollant was suspended after making conflicting statements, WSVN reported.