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Oct. 23, 2010 — Winter Haven

Around 2:30 p.m., deputies responded to the home of Thomas Steidley after reports of a confrontation with his girlfriend and a call of “distress” to his parents.

Steidley's girlfriend told them that he was bipolar, off of his medication and had been drinking. She didn't tell them that he had pulled a firearm on her.

According to the sheriff's office, as the two deputies approached the home, Steidley, 52, came out of the front door holding a handgun. He ignored the deputies’ instructions and raised the handgun, pointing it toward one of the deputies. Read more

Detectives Michael Bissett and Michael Weppelman fired, hitting Steidley eight times and killing him.

Steidley fired one shot at deputies.

This was the 84th police shooting in Florida in 2010.

Three days earlier, one officer shot one person in Loxahatchee .

One day later, one officer shot one person in Vero Beach .

8 ways this case compares to others

  1. Steidley was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  2. Steidley was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Steidley emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  3. Steidley fired shots at police, which happened in 15 percent of shootings.
  4. Officers shot 15 bullets. The average was eight.
  5. Steidley was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  6. Steidley was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  7. Steidley showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.
  8. Steidley pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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