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May 29, 2014 — Tallahassee

Officer Derek Hawthorne was conducting a traffic stop around 3 a.m. when he heard gunshots coming from the nearby Cheeks Sports Bar and Lounge.

Hawthorne called it in and went to the nightclub's parking lot.

Officers arrived and saw several men leaving the area. They also found Duane Strong, 18, sitting in his Dodge Charger. Read more

Police said that as an officer approached, Strong accelerated toward the exit, which was being blocked by Officer Clay Fallis' vehicle.

He and Officer Hawthorne fired at Strong, who narrowly missed Fallis as he squeezed out of the lot.

Another police vehicle rammed the Charger but Strong continued for a block before crashing into a wooded area. He had been struck in the left side by one bullet, which pierced both lungs and his aorta.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Two handguns were found in the car but it was never determined if Strong fired the shots Officer Hawthorne heard.

The officers were cleared. Strong's family filed a lawsuit against the city and the two officers for excessive force and wrongful death in 2015.

This was the 61st police shooting in Florida in 2014.

One day earlier, two officers shot one person in Riverview .

Three days later, one officer shot one person in Ocala .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Officer Fallis 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. Officers shot 13 bullets. The average was eight.
  3. Strong and 94 other people who police shot reportedly drove at an officer.
  4. Strong was fleeing from police or a crime scene, which is true in a quarter of shootings.
  5. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Strong's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.

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