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Feb. 21, 2013 — St. Augustine

St. Johns County sheriff's deputies were investigating a stolen vehicle shortly before 6 a.m. outside a Quality Inn.

Authorities say they spotted Brandon Cheques Rich, 17, approaching the SUV and ordered him to the ground. Instead, he opened the car door and dove inside.

Deputy Joey Romer reported that Rich turned toward him with what he thought was a handgun. Romer shot Rich once in the left leg. Read more

Police said that they found 75 pieces of crack cocaine with a street value of about $5,000 in the SUV. There was no weapon in the vehicle.

Romer was cleared after an FDLE investigation.

This was the 28th police shooting in Florida in 2013.

Two days earlier, two officers shot one person in Jacksonville .

Six days later, one officer shot one person in Spring Hill .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Rich was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  2. Rich did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Police thought Rich, 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.

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