Man shot by Sheriff's deputy released from hospital, booked in jail

Sheriff's Office: Suspect reversing truck towards cruiser when deputy shot him

Griffin has been booked in a Clay County jail
Griffin has been booked in a Clay County jail

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – The man shot by a Clay County Sheriff’s deputy in May was released from the hospital and booked into a Clay County jail Tuesday.

Officials say he’s being charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute and trafficking meth.

A Clay County sheriff's deputy fired multiple shots, striking Timothy Griffin, 33, of Jacksonville, who was reversing his truck into a patrol car during a traffic stop in Middleburg.

Sheriff Rick Beseler said at a news conference in May that they have not yet interviewed Lt. Shawn Gordon because he has a legal right to confer with a lawyer, but he believes the 18-year veteran patrol supervisor did not do anything wrong.

"I've been doing this for 42 years and it looks like Gordon was put in a situation where he was in fear of his life and had to use deadly force," Beseler said.

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According to the Sheriff's Office, Gordon pulled over Griffin near the intersection of Primrose Avenue and Alligator Boulevard. Beseler said Griffin had been driving erratically.

Beseler said Gordon retrieved Griffin's driver's license and radioed back before getting out of his patrol car again, and Griffin then began accelerating back toward the cruiser.

As Griffin backed up, Gordon had to jump on the side of the truck to avoid being hit and then fired several shots, Beseler said. The truck crashed into the front of the cruiser, Beseler said.

"The tires had been, in both directions, spinning, causing the vehicle to sink down into the soft sand in the road. At that point, we know, a citizen came out, I believe an off-duty Jacksonville officer and assisted in Gordon taking the suspect into custody," Beseler said.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Griffin has been arrested seven times since 2003.

Griffin has previously been arrested 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 a three-day leave, which is standard protocol. The Sheriff's Office said it was his first officer-involved shooting.

"He's an outstanding officer," Beseler said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will conduct an investigation, and after that the Sheriff's Office will follow up with an internal review and begin a criminal investigation of Griffin, Beseler said Tuesday.

Beseler said he's unsure when the FDLE investigation will be completed.

"FDLE, I think, is being inundated right now with police shootings because many agencies are utilizing them as an outside agency. So I wouldn't expect it would be something that's done very quickly. I would look to four to five weeks at minimum, maybe even longer," Beseler said.

It was the fourth officer-involved shooting in Clay County in the last four years. There were three in 2012, according to the Sheriff's Office.