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April 8, 2009 — Palm Springs

Palm Springs Police Officer Douglas Rua used his Taser on fleeing robbery suspect Mauricio Cruz, 35 twice. It had little effect.

The two struggled and Cruz hit Rua with a flower pot, then wrestled Rua’s gun away and began hitting him with it.

Firefighters from nearby Palm Beach County Fire Station 31 saw the fight and yelled at Cruz. Cruz pointed Rua's gun at a firefighter but didn't shoot. Read more

Fire-Rescue Capt. Edwin O'Berry, 44, got his own gun and confronted Cruz, who fled.

As he ran away, Cruz pointed the handgun at O'Berry and police Officer Joseph DeRogatis. Both fired at Cruz, hitting him eight times. He later died.

Cruz had been released from jail four days earlier. Rua suffered a broken wrist and skull fracture.

This was the 43rd police shooting in Florida in 2009.

Three days earlier, two officers shot one person in Dunnellon .

Seven days later, one officer shot one person in Hollywood .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Cruz was shot after injuring an officer. That was true in 8 percent of shootings.
  2. Cruz was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Cruz was shot after resisting arrest. A total of 114 people were shot while resisting arrest.
  4. Officer was chasing Cruz on foot before shooting him. Officers shot 105 people during foot pursuits.
  5. Cruz pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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