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April 5, 2012 — Jacksonville

For weeks, undercover officers had been buying crack cocaine at an apartment in a complex in the Arlington neighborhood.

When they came back to arrest Nathaniel Hill, who handled the sales, he put up a fight.

The two detectives took him down and his son joined in the struggle. Sheriff's officials said Sgt. Val Demps stepped over the people on the floor to give the officers cover and spotted Juan Montrice Lawrence standing in a hallway with a handgun. Read more

Lawrence, 40, refused to drop the weapon and Demps fired four rounds, hitting him once in the face and once in the hip. Lawrence was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officers said that he had seven rounds in his pistol and a clip of bullets in this hand.

A 23-year veteran, this was Demps' third shooting but first fatality.

This was the 34th police shooting in Florida in 2012.

The same day, one officer shot one person in Kissimmee .

One day later, two officers shot one person in Palm Beach Gardens .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Lawrence did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  2. Lawrence was shot during an undercover sting. That was true in less than four percent of cases.
  3. Lawrence was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.

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