Police ID man shot by undercover detective

JSO: 5 arrests made in drug bust, police-involved shooting

JACKSONVILLE Fla. – A 31-year-old man shot by an undercover narcotics detective Monday night in Northwest Jacksonville is a convicted felon who reached for a loaded revolver in his waistband, police said Tuesday.

Kevin W. Smith, who is in stable condition at UF Health Jacksonville after being shot twice, was absentee booked on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and armed possession of marijuana. He previously served time for robbing a convenience store in 2003, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney said.

Four other men were also arrested Monday night on drug charges related to the officer-involved shooting, Hackney said.

Terry Smith, 58, who is not related to Kevin Smith, was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

Wayne Green, 47, and Alonzo Jones, 48, were charged with selling cocaine and marijuana.

Harry K. Swinton, 28, was charged with armed possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Swinton is a licensed gun owner, Hackney said, but he was armed while committing a felony.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives were conducting undercover operations at 6 p.m. in a neighborhood on 4th Avenue near Clyde Drive, just off Lem Turner Road.

Hackney said Tuesday that several narcotics detectives were working undercover in the general area in Riverview on Monday after a nearby drive-by shooting of a 12-year-old girl and her mother on Sunday that police believe was drug-related.

As part of that undercover work, the detectives conducted a drug buy at a home on 4th Avenue, near Clyde Drive, just off Lem Turner Road. About a minute later, the detectives returned to the home to continue their investigation.

When they drove up to the house, there were four men outside, Hackney said. Two men were in the carport area, one was off to the left of the house and the fourth was going out the front door.

Hackney said the detectives got out of their vehicle wearing tactical vests labeled “Police” on the front and the back and started shouting at the men to get on the ground.

Two of the men complied, but the man going out the front door of the house tried to run, Hackney said.

He said that as one of the detectives began to run toward the fleeing man, Kevin Smith lifted his shirt and reached toward the handle of a revolver in his waistband.

The detective who had been driving the car shouted for Smith to stop, but he did not, Hackney said.

He said the detective, fearing for his safety and the safety of his partner, fired two shots at Smith, hitting him twice. Smith was taken to UF Health, where he underwent surgery. Smith did not fire his gun and no officers were injured in the shooting.

"It’s a miracle that this doesn’t happen more often, and (it) makes me shake my head as to how silly somebody has to be to refuse the orders of a police officer in the midst of a drug seize," Hackney said.

Hackney said the detective who fired at Smith is a 16-year veteran of JSO. He has been placed on administrative leave per JSO policy after a shooting. The names of the detectives involved in the drug bust and shooting are not being released because they are undercover officers.

“This is really a highlight of the dangerous job that the men and women assigned to our narcotics unit encounter on a daily basis,” Hackney said.

He said Swinton, who was also armed with a gun, and Jones complied with detectives' orders to get down on the ground.

“Both of those individuals are today without any bullet holes in them because they complied with the officers' directions,” Hackney said.

He said the investigation revealed a cache of drugs packaged for sale in the carport area of the home, along with cash and another handgun.

Police were called to the home once before last September over complaints that drugs were being dealt there. No arrests were made then, Hackney said.

Monday night's shooting was about four blocks from the Hilly Road home where a mother and her 12-year-old daughter were shot in their home early Sunday morning. Hackney said detectives were conducting undercover operations in the area because they were investigating the drug connection to the drive-by shooting.

Neighbors declined to give interviews Tuesday saying they were "scared to death" and were afraid that "they'll come back and shoot up my house if I say anything."

Hackney said patrols will continue in the area.

This was the fifth police-involved shooting in Jacksonville in 2016 and the second this month. There were 10 police-involved shootings last year, five of them deadly. 

About the Author: