JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 55-year-old man shot and killed by a Jacksonville police officer late Thursday afternoon had just rammed his wife's vehicle three times and was reaching for a loaded gun, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Police say officers leaving SWAT training about 5 p.m. witnessed a pickup truck hit a car in the 13300 block of Lem Turner Road, then ram it two more times, sending both vehicles flipping into the woods.
As the officers got out to help, a woman in the car got out and told police, "That's my ex-husband. He is trying to kill me."
As two of the officers went out to get the man out of his overturned pickup truck, he was ordered to put his hands on his head. Police said when he reached for a handgun, Officer Jared Reston fired six shots with an AR-15 rifle.
IMAGES: Police-involved shooting
It was not immediately known how many shots hit the man, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital.
On Friday morning, police identified the man as 55-year-old Clifton Day (pictured, right). He and his ex-wife, Sandra Day, who had previously been married for more than 30 years, had a long list of domestic issues.
Sandra Day took out a restraining order against him in December 2011 after his arrest for felony domestic battery. He was arrested in April and June last year for violating that protective order. Friends said Clifton Day tried to strangle her.
Police say Day was reaching for this loaded .32-caliber Beretta in the seat, and that’s when Officer Jared Reston fired his AR-15 six times.
In March 2012, Sandra Day filed for divorce, which became final in December.
According to a close friend of Sandra Day, she her job like she did any other day heading south on Lem Turner Road, and when she got to the intersection only about 200 feet away, she saw her ex-husband sitting there parked in his truck, waiting.
"Broad daylight; heavily traveled traffic area; he's passing other vehicles to run her off the road. That shows his intent to hurt or kill her," JSO Chief Tom Hackney said. "Who knows, if we weren't there and he would have gotten out of that car, we could have had a domestic murder."
This was the third police-involved shooting in Jacksonville this year, and all of them have resulted in the death of a suspect.
This was the fourth time Reston has shot a suspect. In 2007, he was involved in a shooting in East Arlington. One year later, he was shot six times while pursuing an 18-year-old shoplifting suspect running from Regency Square. He shot and killed that teen, recovered and went on to become Officer of the Year for both the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the state of Florida.
In 2011, he was part of a SWAT operation that took down Christopher Kilgore, who had been on the run from police after shooting his parents, brother and a family friend in Middleburg.
"It's unfortunate. Nobody sets out at the beginning of their day as an officer with the intent of taking a life," Hackney said. "It is unfortunate. It impacts that officer greatly, and it's not a light decision."
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