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July 6, 2012 — Pensacola

Three Escambia County sheriff's deputies fatally shot James M. Kirkland, a mentally ill man who was holding an antique rifle outside the home he shared with his mother.

His sister told the Pensacola News-Journal that Kirkland, 51, suffered from mental illness. Rosemary Kirkland also said that her brother suffered a stroke in 1996 that left him legally blind.

Deputies David Poole, Robert Greene and Jacob Holloway were dispatched after Kirkland's mother called a mental health facility where he was being treated to report that he was distraught. The facility's staff called 911. Read more

4 ways this case compares to others

  1. Kirkland was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Kirkland emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  2. Kirkland was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Kirkland showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.
  4. Kirkland pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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