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Jan. 8, 2012 — Hallandale Beach

Unarmed shoplifting suspect Gregory Ehlers Jr., a Tampa native, was shot three times by a Hallandale Beach police officer while cornered on a residential rooftop.

Ehlers, 34, was suspected of stealing items from the Aventura Best Buy. Ehlers was shot twice in the arm and wrist and bled to death on the roof.

According to the police report, Officer Edward McGovern ordered Ehlers to put down the black object in his hands. He fired when Ehlers bent to pick it up again. Read more

A charger plug, an electronic device and a prescription pill bottle were found near Ehlers.

Ehlers’ estate sued the police department for wrongful death. The city eventually settled the lawsuit for $150,000.

This was the second police shooting in Florida in 2012.

Six days earlier, one officer shot one person in Jacksonville .

One day later, one officer shot one person in Lakeland .

4 ways this case compares to others

  1. Officer approached Ehlers after he was suspected of committing a minor crime. That’s true in 1 of every 12 cases.
  2. Police thought Ehlers, who was unarmed, was reaching for a weapon before shooting him. Thirty-eight unarmed people were shot when police said they saw them reach for something.
  3. Officer was chasing Ehlers on foot before shooting him. Officers shot 105 people during foot pursuits.
  4. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Ehlers's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.

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