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Sep. 9, 2010 — Boynton Beach

David Bennett was spotted sitting in a car in an office parking lot, muttering to himself and behaving oddly.

The area had been the site of several burglaries. Arriving shortly after 6 a.m., Deputy Timothy Rieger could not get Bennett to get out of the car or stop moving his hands. Rieger believed Bennett, 40, may have been drinking. Rieger pulled his firearm. He said Bennett's "cold, blank stare," worried him.

Bennett suddenly reached toward the passenger seat and Rieger fired, hitting him several times, according to reports. Bennett continued to move toward the passenger side and Rieger fired again, killing Bennett. Rieger fired enough times that he had to reload. Read more

A sheriff's incident assessment team later suggested Rieger should have tried harder to defuse the situation.

The Palm Beach Post reported that a weapon was not found. Bennett's family received a $50,000 settlement from the Sheriff's Office, according to the Post.

This was the 71st police shooting in Florida in 2010.

Two days earlier, one officer shot one person in Fort Myers .

Two days later, one officer shot one person in Callahan .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Police thought Bennett, who was unarmed, was reaching for a weapon before shooting him. Thirty-eight unarmed people were shot when police said they saw them reach for something.
  2. Bennett was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  3. Bennett showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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