JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The morning after two people were shot an killed in separate police-involved shootings, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released the names of those involved and the circumstances that led to the shootings.
JSO Director Dwain Senterfitt said the first shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood after 22-year-old Theo Brenner offered to sell two undercover officers drugs.
Senterfitt said Brenner then pulled a gun and demanded their money. After the first officer handed over money and Brenner was trying to rob the second officer, the first officer pulled his gun and fired shots.
Senterfitt said Brenner managed to get off one shot. He was wounded several times by the officer's shots -- the exact number is still under investigation -- and died at the scene.
Police said one of the officer's wallets was found in Brenner's pocket.
"We all now know that they were our detectives, but this person robbing them had no idea these were police," Senterfitt said. "They were working undercover. It could have been any one of you or me out there getting robbed. We're just fortunate we have men and women in this agency willing to put themselves out there in this position."
The second fatal shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. when a police chase ended at the intersection of the Martin Luther King Jr. and Interstate 95.
Senterfitt said 25-year-old Rachel Etheridge used what appeared to be a handgun to rob a woman and her mother at an Arlington ATM and stole the woman's car. Police pursued the stolen vehicle across the Mathews Bridge, onto I-95 and through a Brentwood neighborhood before an officer used his cruiser to hit and spin the fleeing car.
Police said Etheridge was shot several times when she made a sudden move. Senterfitt said officers found a "very realistic looking replica pistol" in the car.
While both investigations were still under way, Senterfitt said that so far it appears that the officers involved in the shootings acted within guidelines.
"We had two in the same day, but ... one of them, all the way until the fact that it was a police office that was involved in it, it was just a citizen defending themselves from a robbery, really, when you get right down to it," Senterfitt said. "Then the second one, obviously, was an armed robbery that took place, then it ended up like it did."
No officers were hurt in either incident. Two officers from the Sherwood Forest shooting and a sergeant who fired at Etheridge were placed on administrative leave, standard policy following police-involved shootings.
- February 5, 2009: Police: Man Attempting To Rob Undercover Officers Shot, Killed
- February 5, 2009: Woman Shot, Killed In Day's 2nd Police-Involved Shooting