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Shooting of Clearwater man ruled justified

CLEARWATER — Undercover Pinellas County sheriff's detectives who gunned down a murder suspect last month were justified, Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe has ruled.

Alexander Blaine Epstein, 19, injured one man and killed two others in a shooting at a going-away party March 20.

Later that day, outside a Clearwater Beach home where he had been staying, deputies shot Epstein seven times after he drew a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol on them and refused to drop the weapon.

McCabe said in an April 16 memo to Sheriff Jim Coats that the undercover officers "were in the lawful performance of their legal duty and that the shooting was justifiable homicide."

Shooting of Clearwater man ruled justified 04/19/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 19, 2010 7:17pm]

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