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May 14, 2009 — Winter Haven

On May 14, 2009, Polk County Sheriff's Office Deputy Ivan Navarro met with Danita and Albert Sutton at a gas station.

Their son, Edmond Albert Sutton, 27, was inside a barn they owned, holed up with a gun. Danita Albert told Navarro her son had "mental issues," and described a prior incident in which he punched through a window of her car while it was in motion.

According to news reports, Edmond Sutton had sustained permanent brain injury from a motorcycle accident and "had a history of severe mood swings and violent behavior." Navarro and Deputies Christopher Diaz and Kevin Loder knocked on the barn door and announced themselves. There was no reply, so they entered. Navarro said he saw Sutton by a staircase, holding a gun. Read more

Sutton refused orders to drop his weapon. After Sutton aimed his weapon first at Navarro and then at Diaz, the deputies simultaneously opened fire.

Sutton dropped to the ground and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An investigation by Assistant State Attorney Robert J. Antonello found the deputies' actions were justified.

This was the 56th police shooting in Florida in 2009.

Eight days earlier, one officer shot one person in Orlando .

One day later, three officers shot one person in Royal Palm Beach .

8 ways this case compares to others

  1. Deputy Diaz was involved in one other shooting from 2009 to 2014. Eighty-five officers were involved in more than one shooting during that time period.
  2. Sutton did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Sutton was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Sutton emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  4. Officers shot 21 bullets. The average was eight.
  5. Sutton was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  6. Sutton told someone that he wanted officers to kill him. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  7. Sutton showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.
  8. Sutton pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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