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June 15, 2014 — Altamonte Springs

Jennifer Skyles called 911 a little after midnight, saying that her disabled husband was suicidal.

She wanted to have him taken in for observation under the Baker Act.

Officer Matthew Fowler arrived alone. According to authorities, when Anthony Skyles, 24, saw Fowler just outside his front door, he swiped at him with a knife. Skyles refused to put down the weapon, and then put it to his own throat and yelled, "Shoot me," officials said. Read more

He then pointed the knife at Fowler and advanced toward him. When he was within five feet, Fowler fired six shots, hitting Skyles four times and killing him.

Skyles' wife said that her husband was, in fact, complying with the officer when he was shot.

She disputed Fowler's story and said her husband was not aggressive in any way.

Fowler was cleared by the state attorney after a standard police shooting investigation.

This was the 71st police shooting in Florida in 2014.

The same day, one officer shot one person in Tallahassee .

Four days later, two officers shot one person in Hialeah .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Skyles approached police in a threatening manner before being shot. That's true in almost 10% of police shootings.
  2. Skyles was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Skyles emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  3. Skyles was armed with a blade/stabbing implement. Only 80 other people were armed the same way.
  4. Skyles told someone that he wanted officers to kill him. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  5. Skyles showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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