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May 28, 2011 — Ft. McCoy

Lavada Kirk, 76, called the police to report that her mentally ill grandson, Bruce McDonald, had just shot her husband.

Deputy Jeffrey Peebles arrived at the home knowing that the suspect had fled. Shortly after Peebles arrived, Deputy Scott Confessore was also dispatched to the residence. When he reached the home he went to the trunk of his car to retrieve his rifle.

McDonald, 31, who had just returned to the property, accosted the deputy, informing him that he was going to shoot him. Deputy Peebles saw what was happening and approached, attempting to distract the suspect. Read more

With the suspect successfully distracted, Confessore was able to draw his weapon. McDonald then fired at him, officials said.

Both deputies returned fire. Confessore was hit in the chest, but was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. McDonald sustained gunshot wounds to his side, his right upper arm and his right upper foot.

Confessore and McDonald's grandfather, Eli Kirk, 73, were flown by helicopter to the hospital. McDonald was transported by ambulance.

McDonald, who has a history of mental illness, was charged with second-degree murder for killing his grandfather, attempted second degree murder and several other crimes. He has been found mentally unfit to stand trial. McDonald's father told the press he had been trying to get his son psychological help for years.

This was the 52nd police shooting in Florida in 2011.

Two days earlier, three officers shot one person in St. Petersburg .

Two days later, 12 officers shot five people in Miami Beach .

7 ways this case compares to others

  1. McDonald was shot after killing someone. Just five percent of shootings started with a homicide.
  2. McDonald did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. McDonald was shot after injuring an officer. That was true in 8 percent of shootings.
  4. McDonald was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting McDonald emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  5. McDonald fired shots at police, which happened in 15 percent of shootings.
  6. McDonald was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  7. McDonald showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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