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June 10, 2014 — Lakeland

Around 10:30 a.m., motorcycle Officer Doug Mills and Sgt. Jeff Gary approached Thomas Lanier.

Police had received a call about a man carrying firearms who was wanted for violating his probation. According to police, Lanier matched the description. Lanier, known locally for his paranoia, pulled a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson and shot Mills in the arm. Both officers returned fire with seven rounds, striking Lanier three times.

It turned out that he was not the man police were seeking. Lanier, 66, was carrying three other guns. In a 2009 call, police evaluated Lanier and determined that he was paranoid but not a threat at the time. Read more

Lanier was found incompetent to proceed with the trial for medical reasons. He died May 24, 2015.

This was the 69th police shooting in Florida in 2014.

Two days earlier, one officer shot one person in St. Augustine .

Five days later, one officer shot one person in Tallahassee .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Lanier was shot after injuring an officer. That was true in 8 percent of shootings.
  2. Lanier was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Lanier showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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2013. NORTH PORT — James Duttman, 57, was sitting alone in his white van on a remote section of North Blade... 1 killed