CLEARWATER – On Jan. 23, Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway held an administrative review board regarding the Officer of Professional Standards investigation for the Clearwater police officers involved in the shooting of suspect Mark Bill on Dec. 23, 2012 at 2224 Glenmoor Road S. The officers were deemed justified in using deadly force.
Around 6:32 p.m. on Dec. 23, officers were dispatched to Bill’s home for a welfare check. His family members called 911 to advise that they had just spoken to him by phone and said that he was suicidal and owned firearms, a police report said.
Officers Kris Wise and Michael Beaver, along with additional patrol units, tried to make contact with Bill at the residence by knocking on the front door. During this time, they saw a subject, later identified as Bill, with a rifle through a window inside the residence. At that point, officers backed away, called for additional officers and established a perimeter. Minutes later, Bill exited the front door of the residence holding an AR15 rifle.
Over the next few minutes, Bill methodically moved on foot around the backyard of the residence to a position of tactical advantage on the north exterior side of the residence behind a concrete planter, the report said. From this position, he repeatedly raised his rifle to a firing position and appeared to be acquiring targets in the direction of the patrol officers on perimeter positions, the report said. Over the next 10 minutes, officers tried to communicate with Bill over the PA system from one of the police vehicles, giving repeated verbal commands to drop his weapons. He did not comply and continued pointing his rifle at officers.
Officers Wise and Beaver were positioned in the backyard of the residence. After hearing a noise, Bill moved toward the backyard, scanned it with his rifle in a firing position, and then both officers challenged him to drop his weapon. Bill ignored the commands and pointed his rifle at them. Officer Wise fired four rounds, and Beaver fired two rounds from their handguns. Bill was struck in the left forearm and chest.
Bill was immediately secured by officers and was found to be armed with several additional firearms and knives. In addition to the AR15 rifle that he was holding, he had a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun slung across his body and a .45 caliber Colt handgun in his pocket, in addition to two knives and loose ammunition. He was treated on scene by paramedics and taken to Bayfront Medical center. He is still in the hospital being treated for his injuries.
The review board determined the officers were justified in their use of deadly force and were in compliance with all department policies. They have been cleared to return to normal duty, which was effective immediately.