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Feb. 13, 2013 — Melbourne

Around 10:20 p.m., nearly a dozen police officers were dispatched to an apartment complex to check on Ryan Rader, 38.

His mother had reported that he was suicidal, drunk and armed. One group of officers saw Rader in a breezeway, about 20 feet away, with a beer can.

When ordered to show his hands, Rader pulled a handgun from his pocket and refused to drop it. Officers Peter Mercaldo, Brian Cavanaugh and Michael Szczepanski opened fire with roughly 18 rounds, killing him. Read more

Rader's parents sued the officers and the city in June 2013 in U.S. District Court. They argued that a crisis negotiation team should have been dispatched and that the officers used unnecessary force.

In December 2015, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the city and the officers.

This was the 26th police shooting in Florida in 2013.

Two days earlier, three officers shot one person in Florida City .

Six days later, two officers shot one person in Jacksonville .

8 ways this case compares to others

  1. Officer Cavanaugh 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. Rader did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Rader was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Rader emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  4. Rader was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  5. Rader told someone that he wanted officers to kill him. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  6. Rader was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  7. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Rader's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.
  8. Rader showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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