May 3, 2013 — Orlando
Police said a Hyundai driven by Marquis Spencer pulled out into traffic from a 7-Eleven parking lot without stopping about 10:15 p.m.
They also said Spencer and his passengers, Ronmono Carson and Aaron Beavers, were not wearing their seat belts.
Officers Michael Zambito and Paul Evancoe pulled them over. According to court documents filed by the officers, as Evancoe approached their Hyundai, Spencer drove in reverse, narrowly missing the officer and striking an unmarked police sport-utility vehicle. Read more
Zambito's police Ford Explorer and an unmarked police F-150 truck eventually rammed the Hyundai and it crashed.
Zambito said that he fired at Spencer when he again accelerated, fearing the Hyundai would injure another officer approaching the car. Officers fired at passenger Ronmono Carson when he leveled a gun at them as he fled into the woods.
Evancoe said he fired at Spencer when he saw him reach toward the passenger seat.
Spencer, 22, died at the scene.
A 9mm pistol was found in the glove box.
Carson, also 22, was wounded in the buttocks. Rear seat passenger Aaron Beavers was not injured.
Carson was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and, with credit for time served, received 10 years probation.
Jacqueline M. Spencer filed a federal wrongful-death lawsuit against the City of Orlando and the two officers, claiming her son had not committed a serious crime when he was shot. In their response, the officers said that they were suspicious of the trio and thought they might have planned to rob the store.
They said Carson admitted that Spencer asked him to hide the gun in the glove box.
In the initial Orlando police report, Carson said the car was stopped for running a stop sign.
It said a 9mm handgun was found along the path that Carson took into the woods. It did not mention the gun in the glove box.
This was the 50th police shooting in Florida in 2013.
9 ways this case compares to others
- Officer Evancoe was involved in two other shootings from 2009 to 2014. Only 10 officers were involved in more than two shootings in that time period.
- Evidence in this case, and accounts given by officers and witnesses, included conflicting details. That was true for 27 other cases.
- Officers approached Spencer after he was suspected of committing a minor crime. That’s true in 1 of every 12 cases.
- Carson was one of 36 people shot in the back by police.
- Carson was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
- Spencer and Carson were fleeing from police or a crime scene, which is true in a quarter of shootings.
- A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Spencer's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.
- Carson pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.
- This shooting came after officers pulled over Spencer and Carson for a traffic violation. Seventy-seven cases began with a traffic stop.