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June 7, 2011 — Lakeland

Around midnight, Eric Bradwell, 29, was shot and killed by Polk County deputies after an investigation into of a string of home invasions led them to his location.

According to incident reports, detectives in the agency's Criminal Investigations Unit located Bradwell after a report that a gold car that was suspected to have been used in the robberies was seen on Crutchfield Road.

When deputies arrived at the location, Bradwell was walking next to the gold car, carrying a handgun and headed toward the woods. The deputies identified themselves and ordered Bradwell to put the weapon down. Bradwell then turned and ran. Deputies fired 15 shots, striking Bradwell seven times including in his head, back and arms. Read more

According to investigation records, Bradwell dropped his weapon while running toward the woods and was injured, on the ground while deputies closed in on his location.

Deputies were on top of Bradwell with their weapons drawn, when Bradwell began to move his arm and turn over. The deputies interpreted his movement as Bradwell reaching for the weapon they identified earlier and fired again.

Procecutors ruled the shooting was justified almost three weeks later, but his family maintains that the use of force was excessive.

"The threat's over, the deputies are safe and the bad guy chose his fate," Sheriff Grady Judd said.

This was the 54th police shooting in Florida in 2011.

Eight days earlier, 12 officers shot five people in Miami Beach .

One day later, one officer shot one person in Miami .

6 ways this case compares to others

  1. Deputy Diaz was involved in one other shooting from 2009 to 2014. Eighty-five officers were involved in more than one shooting during that time period.
  2. Bradwell did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Bradwell was one of 36 people shot in the back by police.
  4. Officers shot 15 bullets. The average was eight.
  5. Bradwell was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  6. Officers was chasing Bradwell on foot before shooting him. Officers shot 105 people during foot pursuits.

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