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May 9, 2010 — Deland

Sarah Gerard called police to tell them her husband, Joshua Gerard, 29, an Iraq War veteran with PTSD, had attacked her and poured gasoline on her.

She told the Volusia County Sheriff's Office that there were guns in the house but no ammunition.

Sgt. Vidal Mejias arrived and saw Joshua Gerard in his driveway with a shotgun. He refused to drop the weapon after being told to several times by Mejias. Read more

Instead, Gerard turned and pointed it at the deputy.

Mejias fired three times, striking Gerard in the elbow and abdomen.

Gerard was charged with aggravated battery, domestic violence and aggravated assault on an law enforcement officer.

This was the 38th police shooting in Florida in 2010.

Six days earlier, four officers shot one person in Hialeah .

Six days later, two officers shot one person in Coconut Creek .

7 ways this case compares to others

  1. Sgt. Mejias was involved in two other shootings from 2009 to 2014. Only 10 officers were involved in more than two shootings in that time period.
  2. Gerard did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Gerard was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  4. Gerard was involved in a domestic disturbance, a factor in 115 cases.
  5. Gerard was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  6. Gerard showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.
  7. Gerard pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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