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Nov. 23, 2014 — Bradenton

According to the neighbors who called 911, Donald Wendt, 50, was in the front yard of the home he shared with his sister, threatening to kill them both.

When police arrived shortly after 9 p.m., the Bradenton firefighter retreated into the house. While the SWAT and hostage negotiation teams were setting up, Wendt emerged armed with two handguns.

He pointed one at officers and SWAT member Jason Nuttall fired one shot, killing him. Wendt, who had been drinking that evening, had served two tours in Iraq. Media speculated that he might have suffered from PTSD but family and friends did not comment. His wife had filed for divorce in 2013 and the house in which they had lived had recently been foreclosed on. Read more

6 ways this case compares to others

  1. A SWAT or tactical team was involved in the incident. Tactical teams are involved in 7 percent of police shootings.
  2. Wendt was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Wendt told someone that he wanted officers to kill him. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  4. Wendt was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  5. Wendt showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.
  6. Wendt pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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