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April 25, 2009 — Defuniak Springs

Joshua Cartwright shot and killed two Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies who tried to arrest him on domestic battery charges at a shooting range.

Cartwright, 28 and a member of the Florida National Guard, drove away in his truck.

Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Parsons spotted Cartwright and pursued him in a low-speed chase. Other deputies deployed stop sticks to deflate the truck’s tires. Cartwright eventually lost control and rolled his truck onto its roof. Read more

Although injured, he pulled out a 9mm pistol and fired. Deputies opened fire, shooting roughly 60 rounds and hitting Cartwright 15 times. However, in the end, it was Cartwright himself who delivered the fatal shot to the head.

Cartwright’s wife said that he thought that the government was conspiring against him. He allegedly was disturbed about the election of President Barack Obama.

This was the 51st police shooting in Florida in 2009.

Four days earlier, one officer shot one person in Tampa .

Two days later, two officers shot one person in Clearwater .

6 ways this case compares to others

  1. Cartwright fired shots at police, which happened in 15 percent of shootings.
  2. Cartwright killed a police officer. This was one of seven shootings that happened after an officer was killed.
  3. Officers shot 60 bullets. The average was eight.
  4. Cartwright was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  5. Cartwright was fleeing from police or a crime scene, which is true in a quarter of shootings.
  6. Cartwright showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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