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Detective shot in traffic stop released from hospital

JSO detective shot by 19-year-old in front of son

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office photo
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detective who was shot during a traffic stop while taking his son to school on the Westside has been released from the hospital, JSO said.

JSO tweeted Friday:

"Great news! #JSO officer who was shot has been released from the hospital. Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers."

The undercover detective, whose name has not been released, was shot in the head, torso and hand March 9 by a 19-year-old man who told his girlfriend minutes earlier that it was "going to be his last day on Earth,” police said.

The detective had been recovering in the hospital since the shooting. The detective's 12-year-old son was not injured.

The accused gunman, Kevin Rojas, was shot three times by two other officers who tracked him and confronted him outside his home. He was treated at the hospital and later booked into the Duval County Jail.

Rojas is charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

Harrowing moments after detective's shooting

The men who rushed to the side of the undercover narcotics detective after he was shot  said they just did what they needed to do to keep the detective alive, and that anyone would have done the same.

“We just did what we would do for anyone else, and anyone else would do the same thing. If anyone is the hero, it's the police officers,” Lance Partridge said. “If he hadn't pulled that guy over, what else with that guy have done to any other citizens? He's the real hero in this.”

Several men working at Partridge Well Drilling, a company just feet from where the detective was shot, heard the gunshots and ran to help the detective.

“I heard somebody say, 'Get a towel. Get a towel,' so the first thing I thought was my shirt,” Richard Canipe said. “I took my shirt off, wadded it up, and put it on the bullet wound on his chest. I was pressuring that. Lance was pressuring the bullet wound in his hand. And Pat was holding his head.”

They said that during the ordeal, the detective was alert and talking, asking them to tell his wife and his son that he loved them, while also helping them aid his gunshot wounds.

At a news conference, JSO Chief Tom Hackney thanked the workers who helped the wounded detective.

"We just saw that he needed help and really didn't think twice about it," said Merritt Partridge, the company's vice president. "We jumped right in there and did what we could, lending a hand until the help arrived."

The first man to get to the detective’s side said that the detective had dropped his gun and his radio, so he made a call to let police know an officer was down.

Nearly 10 others also came running to help and made sure that the detective's 12-year-old son wasn’t injured in the car.

Since the detective was lying behind his car, which was partially on the railroad tracks, and a train was coming, the men moved the officer and the car to safety.

“I'm just thankful that we have people like that doing the job that he does,” Randy Baker said. “It's very dangerous and I'm hoping that if a scenario was around the other way, that he would help me.”