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April 1, 2012 — Ocala

Jeanette Damms called police because of her husband's menacing behavior.

Roger Damms was making suicidal threats and had threatened to kill her and their son, Eric Damms, 17.

She later explained to authorities that the altercation started when she confronted Roger about his smoking habits. She also said that he was under the influence of alcohol. Read more

Responding to her call and reports of shooting in the area, Deputy John Lightle arrived at the residence. When Lightle approached the home he saw Roger Damms, 53, in the backyard holding a shotgun and a beer.

The deputy drew his firearm and ordered Damms to drop his weapon.

Damms made eye contact with the deputy and slowly put down his beer. He then raised and pointed his firearm at Lightle, who responded by firing five rounds, officials said.

Damms was hit twice. He was transported to the hospital and later was committed for mental health evaluation under the Baker Act.

This was the 31st police shooting in Florida in 2012.

Six days earlier, two officers shot one person in Miami .

One day later, three officers shot one person in Dade City .

5 ways this case compares to others

  1. Damms was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  2. Damms was involved in a domestic disturbance, a factor in 115 cases.
  3. Damms was drinking alcohol before being shot. That’s true in about 10 percent of police shootings.
  4. Damms showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.
  5. Damms pointed a weapon at officers. Twenty-eight percent of shootings involved people who police say pointed a weapon at them.

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