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Dec. 31, 2013 — Coral Springs

Coral Springs police responding to a domestic disturbance found Alex Cohen, a schizophrenic who had not been taking his medicine, locked inside his duplex.

His mother and sister told police he had been raging about the government trying to get him.

Officer Matthew Shuford tried to open the front door, then retreated as Cohen, 26, came out of the house. Police say that he lunged at Shuford with a knife. Shuford fired four shots, wounding Cohen once in the abdomen and twice in the bottom of the shoe. Read more

His mother and sister say they never saw a knife and that Cohen came out with his arms up, threatening to fight.

Investigators found a black steak knife in the driveway.

This was the 137th police shooting in Florida in 2013.

Three days earlier, one officer shot one person in Palatka .

Two days later, two officers shot one person in Crestview .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Cohen approached police in a threatening manner before being shot. That's true in almost 10% of police shootings.
  2. Evidence in this case, and accounts given by officers and witnesses, included conflicting details. That was true for 27 other cases.
  3. Cohen was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Cohen emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  4. Cohen was armed with a blade/stabbing implement. Only 80 other people were armed the same way.
  5. Cohen showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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