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Nov. 11, 2014 — Plant City

Maria De Los Angeles Romano awoke around 4 a.m. to find her house on fire.

As she corralled her teenage daughters, she found that her ex-boyfriend Trung Thanh Do, 31, had broken into the house through a window. He had earlier threatened her, saying that he would kill her and set fire to her house if she broke up with him. Inside the home, Do stabbed Romano, 43, and then threw the knife on the bed and told her to stab him. She threw the knife out a window.

Directed to the back of the house by the teenagers, Officers James Burchett and Jeffrey S. Hilsman saw the pair through a window and yelled for Do to release Romano. Read more

Instead he used her as a shield. They broke the window with their batons. Deputy Burchett saw that Do was dragging Romano farther into the burning home.

He fired one shot, striking Do beneath the eye and killing him.

This was the 106th police shooting in Florida in 2014.

Eight days earlier, one officer shot one person in North Miami Beach .

Four days later, one officer shot one person in Fort Pierce .

3 ways this case compares to others

  1. Do tried to kill someone before the shooting, according to police. That’s true only 3 percent of the time.
  2. Do was involved in a domestic disturbance, a factor in 115 cases.
  3. Do showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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