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Dec. 23, 2012 — Clearwater

On Dec. 23, 2012, the father of 56-year-old Mark Bill called law enforcement to tell them that his son was suicidal and in possession of a firearm.

Several officers approached Bill's front door and knocked. Through the door's windows they saw Bill approach the door with an assault rifle and then back away.

Several officers armed themselves with assault rifles and set a perimeter around the house. After a while, Bill came out, walked around to the side of his house and sat downed against the wall. Read more

Police tried in vain to make contact with the him.

Officers Kris Wise and Michael Beaver remained behind cover until Bill began to seek out a sound coming from the rear of the house. Fearful that he might come into a conflict with the officers there, Wise and Beaver revealed themselves and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon.

Bill turned around and pointed his gun toward them. The officers fired at Bill six times, striking his forearm and upper torso.

Bill's 15-year-old son remained inside of the house, unharmed. Bill was later convicted on two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and is serving a three year sentence.

This was the 129th police shooting in Florida in 2012.

Four days earlier, two officers shot one person in Fort Pierce .

Nine days later, two officers shot one person in Ormond Beach .

4 ways this case compares to others

  1. Bill was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Bill emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  2. Bill was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Bill showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.
  4. Bill pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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