Another says, “You got a shot, take it.”
“Drop the gun,” one officer shouts.
A second later one rifle shot is fired.
I would say they saw a gun and ordered him to drop it. I do not know that for certain, nor do I know that he pointed it at them. I read the article and this part jumped out at me. Plus, another part of the story says a bullet went through the sling and struck the gun. I would hazard a guess the police saw the gun, and it was in his hands in order for the bullet to hit it. If the rifle was on the ground or in the house, how did the police shoot it.
I believe he may have been startled and turned towards the officers giving him commands, maybe turning the rifle as he looked.
Bad situation all around.