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Jan. 5, 2014 — Sarasota

Deacon Clark, 30, was shot and killed by police after pulling a gun on two officers who were on patrol in north Water Tower Park.

An investigation by Assistant State Attorney Craig Shaeffer found that Clark was passing by two officers on bicycles when they noticed he was carrying a handgun.

Officers Adam Barlow and Terry Crenshaw ordered Clark to drop the weapon. That's when police say Clark raised his firearm and fired "simultaneously" with police. Read more

The investigation found that the two officers discharged 31 rounds, 15 and 16 respectively, and hit Clark six times, killing him. According to the investigation, Clark fired two shots at police but did not hit them.

The FDLE investigation cleared the officers, and revealed that Clark was in contact with his mother.

He told her that he wanted to "choose when, where and how he died." His mother said that Clark believed he had three ways to die: "overdose, face the people he believed wanted him dead, or wait for the police to shoot him." Officers found a box of bullets, cigarettes and a crack pipe in Clark's pockets, and drug screens showed that Clark had both cocaine and Alprazolam in his system at the time of his death.

This was the third police shooting in Florida in 2014.

Three days earlier, four officers shot one person in Jacksonville .

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

6 ways this case compares to others

  1. Clark was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  2. Clark fired shots at police, which happened in 15 percent of shootings.
  3. Officers shot 31 bullets. The average was eight.
  4. Clark was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  5. Clark told someone that he wanted officers to kill him. That preceded 10 percent of police shootings.
  6. Clark showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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