A sheriff says a deputy has shot and wounded a construction worker outside a shopping mall on Florida's Atlantic coast.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said at a news conference Tuesday that the construction worker was doing work outside the mall when he started behaving erratically.

The construction worker's boss confronted him, and the worker left, only to return a short time later.

Ivey says a security guard approached the worker who became aggressive, and deputies were called to the mall.

Ivey says the construction worker started swinging a metal fence post at a deputy who had approached him, and the deputy fired multiple times, striking the worker.

The worker was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he was being treated.