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Aug. 12, 2011 — Miami

Catawaba Howard, an Air Force veteran, had threatened to harm herself and others before someone called 911.

Howard confronted Officers William Vasquez and Saul Rodriguez outside a house and fired at them with a handgun, authorities said. She hit Vasquez in the torso, but his bulletproof vest saved him from serious injury. The officers returned fire.

Howard, 32, had just left the Miami Veterans Administration hospital, where she had been taken after saying that she wanted to die. The officers were cleared after a state attorney's investigation. Read more

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Howard was shot after injuring an officer. That was true in 8 percent of shootings.
  2. Howard fired shots at police, which happened in 15 percent of shootings.
  3. Howard was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  4. Howard told someone that she wanted officers to kill her. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  5. Howard showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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