Ocala police shooting: Video shows moments before Florida officers shoot man experiencing mental health crisis

An armed Florida man who was shot by Ocala police during an apparent mental health crisis on Sunday afternoon is facing charges.

David Laperriere, 23, of Ocala, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and one count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, according to an arrest affidavit. 

During a news conference Monday morning, police said they received a 911 call for help at 12:21 p.m. from the man's mother, who brought her son to The Vines Hospital for mental health intervention. 

In the report, the mother stated Laperriere has schizophrenia and that he walked off from the psychiatric hospital "acting erratic." 

At around 12:38 p.m., officers found him about a mile and a half away on SW 27th Avenue, where the shooting happened. 

An exclusive video obtained by FOX 35 News captured the moments leading up to the officer-involved shooting.

In the video, multiple officers appear to speak with a man, later identified as Laperriere, for several minutes. 

Ocala Police Department (OPD) said he was armed with a knife and "bear deterrent spray," which has a higher concentration of capsaicin and has a spray range of up to 40 feet.


Three officers were involved in the incident – an officer armed with a Taser, an officer armed with a 40-millimeter multi-launcher, and an officer with a handgun. 

Police shared a snippet of body camera video which showed the shooting from an officer's perspective.

In the clip, Laperriere can be seen appearing to wave the knife and pepper spray around. 

With a gun drawn, an officer appeared to try to deescalate the situation, informing Laperriere that he was not in trouble and that his mother was worried about him, body camera video showed.

"Drop'em, buddy. Drop'em, man," the officer tells him, referring to the knife and pepper spray.

While trying to negotiate with Laperriere, they tried to simultaneously taser him, and at one point, they hit him in the thigh area with the 40-millimeter launcher – both of which were ineffective, police said. 

Police said Laperriere made several comments about wanting to end his life. On bodycam video, he could be heard saying, "I'm not going to no mental hospital."

 "You don't have to. Talk to us," the officer replied. 

After officers made several commands to drop the knife, Laperriere began to spray the bear pepper spray at officers. He is then seen on video charging at the officer with the gun and is shot. 

Following the shooting, OPD said officers immediately performed life-saving measures until emergency personnel arrived. He was taken to a local hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries. He is currently recovering.

None of the officers were injured in the incident.

The Ocala Police Department released a snippet of body camera video showing the moments before police officers shot a man in an apparent mental health crisis on Sunday afternoon. Police said the man, later identified as David Laperriere, was armed wi

Police told reporters they were unaware that Laperriere was armed before they arrived at the scene. 

"There's a whole protocol of questions that the dispatchers ask, and mom said she thought he was not armed by any means," a police spokesperson said. 

OPD defended the officers' actions, saying they followed procedure. 

"In any situation where we're dealing with someone who might be having a mental health episode, we assess them for criteria for Baker Act. You know, this is a worst-case scenario. None of us wake up in the morning saying, 'this is a day I'm going to use lethal force on somebody,'" the OPD spokesman said. "They did everything by their training and by protocol for this incident."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is assisting with the investigation, which is standard protocol in officer-involved shootings. 

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, help and resources are available. Dial 988 to reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly Suicide Prevention Lifeline), or 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If in a life-threatening situation, call 911.