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Sep. 23, 2013 — St. Petersburg

Officer Damien Schmidt responded to a report of a man yelling and wielding an ax near Central Avenue and Fourth Street N in downtown St. Petersburg.

Schmidt arrived to find pedestrians running toward him, being chased by a man with a fireman's ax.

Schmidt yelled at Kenneth Sprankle, 27, to drop the weapon. Sprankle ignored the officer and kept charging forward. Read more

Officer Schmidt fired five rounds at Sprankle, who was hit several times and died.

Sprankle was said to have smoked "spice" within the hour and had a history of mental illness. The previous week, he had twice been released by mental health services after being brought in by police.

This was the 99th police shooting in Florida in 2013.

The same day, one officer shot one person in Miami .

Two days later, two officers shot two people in Daytona Beach .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Sprankle approached police in a threatening manner before being shot. That's true in almost 10% of police shootings.
  2. Sprankle was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  3. Sprankle did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  4. Sprankle was armed with a blade/stabbing implement. Only 80 other people were armed the same way.
  5. Sprankle showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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