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Jan. 7, 2014 — Leesburg

Leesburg and Eustis police officers arrived at an apartment to serve a search warrant allowing them to seize the cell phone and PlayStation of Vernum "Guy" Blunk Jr.

The Department of Children and Families was investigating allegations that Blunk may have molested the young daughter of his live-in girlfriend and could have pornographic images on his devices.

Blunk, a 47-year-old unemployed man with no criminal record and a history of depression, reportedly became very nervous after the items were confiscated. He sat down on a day bed, reached under a pillow and pulled a handgun up to his chest. Read more

Eustis police Sgt. Gary Winheim was in the room and told Blunk to put down the weapon. He said Blunt did not comply.

Winheim said he could not determine whether Blunk was going to shoot himself or the officer.

Winheim fired two rounds, striking Blunk in the head and chest.

He died at the scene.

This was the fourth police shooting in Florida in 2014.

Two days earlier, two officers shot one person in Sarasota .

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

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Blunk did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  2. Blunk was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Blunk showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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