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Man recovering after deputy-involved shooting in Middleburg

FDLE investigating after shooting during traffic stop in Clay County

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – The Clay County Sheriff's Office has named the man shot by a deputy just before midnight Sunday during a traffic stop in Middleburg.

Timothy Van Griffin, 33, of Jacksonville, was in critical but stable condition Monday after surgery at Orange Park Medical center.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Lt. Shawn Gordon, an 18-year veteran patrol supervisor, pulled over Griffin near the intersection of Primrose Avenue and Alligator Boulevard. At some point Gordon fired his weapon.

The Sheriff's Office hasn't said how many shots were fired or other details. They plan to hold a news conference on Tuesday.

Griffin's stepfather, James Pifer, told News4Jax the man was was shot five times. 

The shooting happened just after Griffin had turned around in Robert Malley III's yard. Malley said he heard four or five shots.

“He pulled in here," Malley said. "You can see the tire tracks where he tried to pull back and damaged our gate." 

Pifer said Griffin has a daughter about 10 years old. He said Griffin had some struggles, but was getting better.

"He's really been doing well the past couple years," Pifer said. "He's had his bumps in the past but he's trying to get his life together."

Griffin has several drug arrests on drug charges, one count car theft, one for resisting arrest and one for animal cruelty.

The Sheriff's Office said Griffin had tried to run from officers before.

Gordon was not injured and was placed on leave during the investigation, which is standard protocol. The Sheriff's Office said this was his first police-involved shooting.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conduct the overall investigation.

This was the fourth police-involved shooting in Clay County in the past four years.


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