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June 13, 2011 — Winter Garden

After a domestic violence call just before midnight, Winter Garden officers found Margaret Gibbs at her neighbor's house, where she ran to to call the police.

Margaret claimed that her husband, Harry Guest Gibbs, 63, had tried to smother her. She told the officers that her husband experienced pain medication withdrawals and had been drinking all night.

Margaret also told the police that her husband had a shotgun in their house. When the officers found Harry Gibbs, he was standing in the doorway with a shotgun. Read more

When he pointed it at the officers, Sgt. James Capeletti fired five shots. Gibbs was struck by two bullets. He died shortly afterward in his home.

Margaret Gibbs sued Capeletti and Winter Garden in federal court, claiming Capaletti violated Gibbs' Second and Fourth Amendment rights when he shot Gibbs in his own home holding a legal firearm.

The judge ruled in favor of Capeletti and Winter Garden and sent several state law complaints, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, back to circuit court. The case was voluntarily dismissed in in September 2015 following an undisclosed settlement.

This was the 58th police shooting in Florida in 2011.

Two days earlier, one officer shot one person in Zellwood .

Eight days later, two officers shot one person in St. Petersburg .

6 ways this case compares to others

  1. Gibbs was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  2. Gibbs was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Gibbs was involved in a domestic disturbance, a factor in 115 cases.
  4. Gibbs was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  5. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Gibbs's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.
  6. Gibbs pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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