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June 18, 2009 — Miami

Lawrence McCoy hijacked a taxi and pistol-whipped the driver outside the Miami Beach Marina around 11 p.m.

McCoy, 29, then drove the cab the wrong way on the MacArthur Causeway. He crashed into another vehicle and ran.

McCoy encountered retired Miami Beach officer Steve Stuart and his girlfriend, off-duty public service aide Gisela Tacoa. Tacoa fired at him. Read more

McCoy then ran back up the causeway, directly into Officer Adam Tavss and Sgt. Frank Celestre. Authorities said McCoy fired at the officers, who returned fire and killed him.

NBC reported that police fired nine to 11 shots. No weapon was found near McCoy although divers later retrieved a gun from Biscayne Bay.

McCoy's father sued the city and several officers. Officer Tavss had returned to duty that day after fatally shooting Husien Shehada, June 14. He resigned in September after testing positive for marijuana. In 2010, the year after the McCoy shooting, he admitted to operating a grow house in his apartment. In a plea deal, he received two years house arrest and underwent drug treatment. His attorney said the stress of the two killings caused a "psychological break."

This was the 70th police shooting in Florida in 2009.

One day earlier, two officers shot one person in Orlando .

Two days later, one officer shot one person in Miami .

7 ways this case compares to others

  1. Officer Tavss was involved in one other shooting from 2009 to 2014. Eighty-five officers were involved in more than one shooting during that time period.
  2. McCoy fired shots at police, which happened in 15 percent of shootings.
  3. McCoy was armed with a firearm. That’s true of almost half the people shot.
  4. McCoy was shot after resisting arrest. A total of 114 people were shot while resisting arrest.
  5. McCoy was suspected of being involved in an armed robbery. That's true in 1 of every 9 police .
  6. McCoy was fleeing from police or a crime scene, which is true in a quarter of shootings.
  7. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to McCoy's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.

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