Cape Coral Police Department
Public Affairs Office
1100 Cultural Park Blvd
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Cape Coral Police Officers Involved in Shooting
Cleared by State Attorney’s Office; Internal Review
(November 13, 2013)- An internal investigation has cleared two Cape Coral Police Officers in the June 24th shooting of Mark Alan Chernin.
In the early morning hours of June 24th, Cape Coral Police Officers Andrew Miller and Matthew Mills were among several officers who responded to a report of an armed man walking in the 2200 block of SE 15th Street. Officers received calls that the armed man, later identified as Mark Alan Chernin, had already fired shots and was walking down the street still armed with a rifle.
Officers set up a perimeter around the neighborhood and located Chernin, who was indeed standing on SE 15th Street. Chernin was holding a Ruger .223 rifle, had a .40 caliber pistol in his waistband and a .45 caliber pistol on a leg holster.
Officers Miller and Mills attempted a dialogue with Chernin and ordered him to drop the guns. Chernin refused and began to raise the rifle in the direction of the officers. Officers Mills and Miller fired at Chernin, striking him. Chernin died on scene from his injuries.
As is standard, an investigation into the shooting ensued. The State Attorney’s Office concluded that the shooting was justified. “Based upon the investigative reports provided and the applicable law, I am convinced that the actions of the officers involved in this incident were a legally justifiable use of deadly force, in the defense of themselves or others. Therefore my office will not be filing any criminal charges in this matter”-Stephen B. Russell, State Attorney.
A subsequent internal investigation by the Cape Coral Police Professional Standards Bureau concluded that the shooting was within policy. Officers Miller and Mills have returned to full duty.
“The facts of the investigation showed that the actions taken by our officers that night were absolutely necessary and completely driven by Mr. Chernin’s decision to threaten them with a rifle. I am extremely proud of all of our officers, including Officers Mills and Miller, who placed themselves in harm’s way, by advancing toward an armed individual, to protect our citizens. They responded in a competent and professional manner to an incident in which one shot had already been fired and although the outcome was unfortunate, they performed admirably.
Out of respect for the Chernin family, on behalf of the Cape Coral Police Department, I offer my condolences for their loss.
We thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for its thorough examination of physical evidence in this case and the Office of the State Attorney, for its careful review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident”-Bart Connelly, Interim Chief of Police.