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June 14, 2009 — Miami Beach

Police received 911 reports of two "agitated" men acting strangely.

Husien Shehada and his brother, Samer, were outside the Twist nightclub on Washington Avenue at 4 a.m. The Palestinian-Americans from Woodbridge, Va., were on vacation with their girlfriends.

Investigators say Shehada and his brother were after the men who had roughed up Samer for hitting his girlfriend earlier that night. The brothers were carrying a coat hanger and bottle beneath their shirts to imply that they had weapons. Read more

This led several callers to mistakenly report the two were armed. The pair was surrounded by officers. Police say that Husien, 29, refused orders to show his hands. One officer said he made a move toward his waistband.

Officer Adam Tavss shot Husien Shehada three times, killing him. Tavss was cleared.

Husein's parents sued the city and Tavss. The federal suit was voluntarily dismissed after mediation in 2013. Tavss was involved in the fatal shooting of Lawrence McCoy four days after killing Shehada. Several months later, he pleaded guilty to growing marijuana at his home and left the force.

This was the 66th police shooting in Florida in 2009.

The same day, one officer shot one person in Port St. Lucie .

One day later, two officers shot one person in Jacksonville .

4 ways this case compares to others

  1. Officer Tavss 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. Shehada did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Police thought Shehada, who was unarmed, was reaching for a weapon before shooting him. Thirty-eight unarmed people were shot when police said they saw them reach for something.
  4. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Shehada's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.

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