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Jan. 29, 2010 — Lake Placid

Rocky Allen Watson, who worked for FDOT, had been acting strangely for four months, ever since he started taking Vicodin for a work injury.

He told his son that he saw spirits and thought rocks were gold nuggets.

On Jan. 29, 2010, he allegedly shot a neighbor who was sitting in his car, then told his son to grab a gun because he was at war. Watson fled into the woods. His son called police and the Highland County Sheriff's Special Response Team came to try to find Watson. Read more

He soon emerged from the woods and threatened cops with a Samurai sword, saying, "Come get me," and, "Who wants to be the first to die?" When he threw his sword, several deputies opened fire. Watson died at the scene.

One HCSO detective was hit by the sword and sustained a cut on his eyebrow.

This was the 11th police shooting in Florida in 2010.

Five days earlier, one officer shot one person in Miami .

Seven days later, one officer shot one person in Tampa .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Watson approached police in a threatening manner before being shot. That's true in almost 10% of police shootings.
  2. Watson was among the 7 percent of people who appeared to be on drugs before being shot.
  3. Watson was armed with a blade/stabbing implement. Only 80 other people were armed the same way.
  4. Watson were fleeing from police or a crime scene, which is true in a quarter of shootings.
  5. Watson showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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2014. LAKE PARK — A plainclothes deputy on bike patrol saw Perciel Hamilton, 22, at 3 a.m. trying to break into an... 1 injured