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State Attorney's Office says shooting death of Rodney Mitchell by two Sarasota deputies during traffic stop was justified

5:05 PM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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 PDF Document: SAO Ruling 8 7 12

Sarasota, Florida -- An investigation by the State Attorney's Office has cleared two Sarasota deputies in the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old man during a traffic stop back in June.

Investigators say Rodney Mitchell was pulled over for not wearing his seatbelt on the night of June 11. The report on the shooting states Mitchell, a football standout before graduating from Palmetto High School and the father of a 4-year-old, showed little cooperation before suddenly putting his Jeep Liberty in drive.

Read: The State Attorney's Report (PDF)

As the Jeep swerved, nearly missing Sgt. Troy Sasse, both Sasse and the other deputy, Adam Shaw, fired two rounds at the vehicle.

The vehicle drove a short distance before leaving the road and crashing into several cars in the parking lot of a gas station.

The report concludes Sgt. Sasse felt his life was in danger as the Jeep sped toward him, and that the split-second response by both deputies was justified.

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