JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old domestic violence suspect shot four times by a Jacksonville police officer Sunday morning is in stable condition at the hospital and expected to recover.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said the the man had several opportunities to comply and was shot after he wrestled the officer's Taser gun away and pointed it. .
Devanta Jones is charged with domestic battery, resisting arrest with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer and burglary.
According to JSO Director Tom Hackney, officers responded just before 9 a.m. to 911 calls about a woman being beaten at the Cleveland Arms Apartments. Hackney said Officer Mike McKinnley could hear the disturbance as he arrived and and entered an apartment, and that he saw Jones on top of a woman, and strangling her.
Although Jones initially complied with orders to stop and get off the victim, when a second officer, Clifford Sames, moved in to handcuff Jones, he resisted, authorities said. Hackney said McKinnley deployed his Taser at Jones, but missed, and Jones took off.
Sames gave chase and saw Jones kicking in the door of another apartment with a woman and three children inside, then running out the back door.
While running, Sames fired his Taser, but missed. Sames fired his Taser again and the probes struck, but when Sames approached to take Jones into custody, Jones struggled and wrestled Sames' Taser away and pointed it at the officer, Hackney said.
Hackney said that Sames then feared for his safety, pulled his handgun and fired six shots, hitting Jones four times.
"Mr. Jones had multiple opportunities to comply," Hackney said. "Our first method of force that we used was a less lethal (method)."
Jones was hit by four of the shots and was reported in critical but stable condition at UF Health Jacksonville.
Protesters in Northwest Jacksonville Monday spoke out against the rash of police involved shootings of which this shooting was just one.
"There is a need for JSO to stand down, de-escalate and re-negotiate. This community is already seething with the unrest and distrust of those who are sworn to protect and serve," one protester said.
In response to the shooting protesters also demanded the use of body cams.
"By deploying these body cams, JSO would be better able to demonstrate transparency and openness in all interactions with members of the African American community," protesters said.
The Sunday incident was Sames' third police-involved shooing.
In 2008, Sames (pictured) was wounded in a shootout with Chester Elliot, 22, who was killed.
In 2014, Sames shot and wounded Devon Spencer, 23, while investigating a car theft. Police said Spencer fired at Sames with an assault weapon. Prosecutors charged Spencer with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was convicted on one of the counts, acquitted of the other, and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Rakeeme Joyner, Jones' brother-in-law who is CEO of CAP Kom entertainment group and assistant director of Metro Kids Konnection, said he organized a rally against violence in January.
Joyner said Jones left his apartment after having an argument with Oliver, and it was Jones who called police.
Police described receiving only two 911 calls, both reporting the beating as it was happening.
Caller: "I swear he is beating the hell out of this girl. I don't know him but I am calling and you all need to come out here."
Operator: "So, he beating the mom inside and he put the kids outside?"
Caller: "Yeah, he done put the kids outside and he beating her."
Hackney said Oliver was initially uncooperative, then became less so as the day went on. He said that is "unfortunate but common" among domestic violence victims.
"I'm not going to question; there are things that she's gone through," Hackney said. "If she's not in a position to look out for herself, then we will."
Jones has previous arrests, including for domestic violence against Oliver, the mother of at at least some of his four children.