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April 20, 2006
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Fla. jackpot winner shot by deputies after refusing to drop gun

The Associated Press

FOREST CITY, Fla.- A Florida Lotto jackpot winner who waited weeks to claim his money so he could first finalize his divorce was shot and wounded by police Thursday after authorities said he refused to drop a handgun.

Robert Swofford Jr. was in stable condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center after undergoing surgery, Seminole County sheriff's Lt. Dennis Lemma said.

Lemma said deputies were investigating a rash of break-ins at an apartment complex near Swofford's home when they confronted him in a vacant field with a handgun in Forest City, about 10 miles north of Orlando.

The deputies ordered Swofford several times to drop the gun, but he refused, Lemma said. Swofford was shot at least three times when he "moved the firearm in a threatening manner," Lemma told the Orlando Sentinel for a story on its Web site.

Swofford won the $60 million jackpot in the fall of 2004 and took a $34.7 million lump sum payout.

Under his divorce settlement, he was to pay his ex-wife $5.25 million and $1 million was to be set aside to support their son. His wife's sister wanted money for a daughter she said Swofford also had fathered. His sister-in-law did not get any of the money, although a judge ordered Swofford to pay child support.

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