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Aug. 2, 2009 — Geneva

Melanie Lee, a sergeant with the state Department of Corrections, was an hour late picking up her boyfriend, Seminole County Jail guard Jeff Thomas.

As the two headed home to Titusville, Lee's truck ran off the road and into a ditch along SR 46. A passing motorist saw the pair sitting on the truck's tailgate.

Another passerby saw Thomas, 45, pointing a gun at Lee, heard a gunshot and saw Lee fall to the ground. Read more

Deputies arrived around 7:30 a.m. and found Thomas holding a handgun and bending over Lee's body. They tried to talk to Thomas but he ignored commands to show his hands or let them near Lee, 37.

Cpl. John Love had a clear shot and fired one round, wounding Thomas in the right hip, officials said.

Thomas pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for killing Lee and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

This was the 84th police shooting in Florida in 2009.

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

One day later, one officer shot one person in Maitland .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Thomas was shot after killing someone. Just five percent of shootings started with a homicide.
  2. Thomas was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  3. Thomas was involved in a domestic disturbance, a factor in 115 cases.

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