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April 8, 2014 — St. Augustine

St. Johns County sheriff's deputies responding to a domestic disturbance call shot and killed Abbott Scott Bennett, 66, a self-described tree-hugger and cancer survivor who rescued stray kittens.

Bennett, whose birthday was the following day, also had a history of depression and had attempted suicide in 2006.

Deputies responded to a 911 call from the brother of Bennett's wife, who said she fled the house when Bennett pushed her down, although she sustained no injuries. He also said that Bennett had guns in the house. Read more

When deputies couldn't get Bennett to answer the door, they went inside and found him in his bedroom. Police say that a scuffle ensued, with Bennett cursing and yelling, "Just do it." One deputy tried to deploy his Taser but missed. Two other deputies, Kevin Kier and Charles Simpkiss, then shot Bennett eight times when they saw him reach under the bed. He died at the scene.

Authorities later said that two loaded guns were found in the drawer under the waterbed.

This was the 33rd police shooting in Florida in 2014.

One day earlier, one officer shot one person in West Palm Beach .

Two days later, one officer shot one person in Orlando .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Bennett was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  2. Bennett was involved in a domestic disturbance, a factor in 115 cases.
  3. Bennett told someone that he wanted officers to kill him. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  4. Bennett was shot after resisting arrest. A total of 114 people were shot while resisting arrest.
  5. Bennett showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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