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Jan. 30, 2011 — Largo

Edward Sliger, 54, had some drinks at the Dog House Bar and Grill in St. Petersburg. He then began asking patrons for prescription painkillers.

Sliger got into his pickup truck to leave and backed into the restaurant’s porch as he drove away. His wife Stephanie Sliger somehow learned of the incident and went looking for him. She spotted him on the road and called authorities.

Both Sligers had pulled over by the time Pinellas sheriff's deputies arrived, but when a deputy ordered him out of the pickup at gunpoint, Edward Slinger sped away, striking Cpl. Scott Matthews with the side mirror as he fled. Read more

Matthews caught up, and in an attempt to stop Slinger’s pickup, tapped it with the cruiser’s front fender. Sliger spun out, then accelerated across Walsingham Road, hitting a deputy’s vehicle and one driven by a civilian, which rolled over into a ditch.

Slinger backed into the deputy’s vehicle and rammed the civilian’s. That’s when deputies opened fire.

Matthews and Deputies Scott Reid and William Hartigan fired 22 rounds. Sliger was hit four times, including a fatal shot to the head.

Stephanie Sliger said that her husband had injured his back 10 years earlier and had run out of medication because he had increased the dosage. He told her during the earlier stop that he wanted to die.

The autopsy indicated his blood alcohol level was over the level for legal impairment.

This was the 12th police shooting in Florida in 2011.

Two days earlier, two officers shot one person in Orlando .

One day later, one officer shot one person in Tampa .

6 ways this case compares to others

  1. Deputy Hartigan was involved in one other shooting from 2009 to 2014. Eighty-five officers were involved in more than one shooting during that time period.
  2. Sliger was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  3. Officers shot 22 bullets. The average was eight.
  4. Sliger told someone that he wanted officers to kill him. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  5. Sliger was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  6. Sliger and 94 other people who police shot reportedly drove at an officer.

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