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June 17, 2009 — Orlando

Deputies were working an undercover drug buy that led them to the Shoppes of South Semoran.

Around 4 p.m., deputies tried to box in suspect Kenneth Ayton's green Camaro. He attempted to escape, striking deputies' unmarked vehicles as he careered through the parking lot.

His passenger, an informant, wrestled for the steering wheel and then bailed from the car. Read more

Ayton, 26, was finally boxed in but continued to accelerate, spinning his wheels and producing clouds of smoke, according to police. Masked deputies surrounded the vehicle.

Narcotics Deputies Todd Mohney and Aaron Wilson opened fire with at least 12 rounds, striking Ayton seven times, killing him.

Some deputies said that they fired when Ayton reached toward the floor of the car for what they presumed was a weapon.

Ayton's relatives sued for battery, negligent training, excessive force and wrongful death. A U.S. district court dismissed the case but in a way that allowed the plaintiff to re-file some of the counts in county court, which they did.

This was the 69th police shooting in Florida in 2009.

One day earlier, one officer shot one person in Lantana .

One day later, two officers shot one person in Miami .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Police thought Ayton, who was unarmed, was reaching for a weapon before shooting him. Thirty-eight unarmed people were shot when police said they saw them reach for something.
  2. Ayton was shot during an undercover sting. That was true in less than four percent of cases.
  3. Officers shot 12 bullets. The average was eight.
  4. Ayton 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 Ayton's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.

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