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Jan. 22, 2012 — Deland

Javier Perez, Leobigildo "Filo" Espinoza and some friends were in a backyard, drinking beer and taking pot shots at an orange with a BB rifle.

They had put the rifle down and heard nothing before they were hit by police gunfire, Perez said. According to authorities, Deland Police Officer Bobby Harrelson shouted for the men to show their hands and fired when they pointed a rifle at him. Harrelson and Officers Joshua Santos and Constantine Procos had answered a call about men with a shotgun around 1:30 p.m. Harrelson saw Perez, 37, and Espinoza, 36, through a fence.

When he shouted at them, they took cover and pointed the rifle. Harrelson fired six times, wounding both men and a neighbor's dog. Espinoza eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Read more

In April 2015, a jury found Perez not guilty of aggravated assault charges. He filed a lawsuit against the officers. Leovigildo Espinoza also sued.

This was the 11th police shooting in Florida in 2012.

Two days earlier, one officer shot one person in Fort Lauderdale .

Six days later, one officer shot one person in Ocklawaha .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Perez was armed with a bb/pellet gun. Only 36 other people were armed the same way.
  2. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Espinoza and Perez's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.
  3. Perez pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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