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Police: Officers shoot man armed with knives

2 officers shot suspect in downtown Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two police officers shot a man who charged at them with knives early Saturday morning in downtown Jacksonville, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Police identified the suspect as 19-year-old Cody Marsh.

Marsh was transported to UF Health with life-threatening injuries after he was shot in the head and arm.

IMAGES: Suspect's knives recovered

Investigators said the shooting occurred not long after one of Marsh's relatives dropped him off at an area shelter at 2:30 a.m. because he said he'd been taking drugs.

Then shortly after 3:30 a.m., Marsh placed a 911 call saying he had been mugged and he was at the McDonald's near Market and State Streets, police said.

“While he’s on the call with the 911 dispatcher, he became verbally abusive with the dispatcher, he was yelling at her, he was making racist comments as well as obscenities," said JSO Chief Chris Butler.

Butler said the manager of McDonald's then called 911 saying Marsh had two very large-bladed knives and was banging on the glass doors, demanding to come inside.

Two officers responded to McDonald's but did not initially see Marsh. 

Butler said they heard Marsh yell from across the street.

“I’m over here. I’m going to kill you. I’m going to cut your heads off,” Butler quoted the man as saying.

More officers arrived, surrounded Marsh and attempted to negotiate for about 10 minutes.

“He began taking those knives and swinging them wildly about his body, he then made threats to the officer saying that he was going to cut their heads off, that he was going to slash them, and that he was going to throw the knives at them as well," said Butler.

Butler said Marsh charged and Officers James White, an 8-year veteran, and Johnathan Cochran, a 2-year veteran, fired their service weapons a total of four times at Marsh.

White fired three times and Cochran fired once. They were not injured in Saturday's incident.

Marsh has had past interactions with law enforcement.

JSO said Marsh was taken into custody in Clay County in 2014 because he brought an airsoft pistol to a school. In 2015 he was Baker Acted. 

White and Cochran were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard protocol in police shootings. 

This was White's second police-involved shooting and Cochran's first. JSO said the first incident involving White happened a few years ago and he fired his weapon but did not strike anyone.

This was the sixth police-involved shooting in Jacksonville in 2016. There were 10 police-involved shootings last year.