Man Killed By Police Was Mentally Ill

Officers Shot, Killed Man Carrying 3-Foot Sword

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man shot and killed by police Tuesday in Oceanway had a history of mental illness and Baker Acts, temporary detentions for mental health evaluation and treatment, but no criminal history, Jacksonville police said.

Police said 33-year-old Richard Chabot was wielding a 3-foot sword and try to steal a police car with weapons inside when two officers fired 12 shots at him.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director Dwain Senterfitt said at a news conference Wednesday morning that Chabot was acting suspiciously and was approached by Officer Robert Wilbanks, who was on his way to work.

Senterfitt said a physical confrontation ensued, and a construction worker driving by stopped to help Wilbanks.


Officer Ken Browning was next to arrive in the Shirley Oaks neighborhood. Senterfitt said Browning stunned Chabot once with a Taser, but it had no effect, maybe because the Taser probes did not penetrate the trench coat Chabot was wearing.

Browning grabbed another officer's Taser and fired again, also with no effect, Senterfitt added "there are two probes with each deployment, both probes have to make contact for it to work."

Senterfitt said Chabot then pulled out the sword, made threatening statements, was "acting fairly bizarre" and growling, and got into Wilbanks' cruiser and started revving the engine.

Wilbanks fired through the windshield, and Browning fired through the driver's side window, killing Chabot, Senterfitt said.

Both officers are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in police-involved shootings.

The shooting was the second use of deadly force by Wilbanks. In the previous incident, though, he did not hit anyone. The shooting was the first for Browning.

Chabot was on medication for schizophrenia, Senterfitt said.

Residents in the area said Chabot always carried a sword and often acted out of the ordinary.

"My neighbor across the street has seen him," George Brier said. "He said he looked kind of disturbed, with a trench coat on. No matter what the temperature was, he walked around like that."