JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 57-year-old man was shot and killed by a police officer early Wednesday morning after grabbing an officer's Taser while being arrested in the Phoenix neighborhood on the city's Eastside, according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.
Officer Ryan McGee, a 4-year veteran of the force, fired his gun eight times at Selwyn Hall -- at least one of them hitting and killing him -- following what began as a domestic disturbance, JSO Director of Investigations Ron Lendvay said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
Police said they first responded at 7:49 p.m. Tuesday to a home on East 19th Street in a residential neighborhood just south of Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway when Hall's wife called 911, saying he was abusing her. When officers arrived, Hall was not at the residence.
Police said there had been a physical altercation involving the couple that may have included his wife, Joann Dingle, being dragged around by her hair.
At 12:36 a.m. Wednesday, a second call about Hall came from the home, police said, but Hall was gone was officers arrived.
After another call at 12:57 a.m., Lendvay said, the original responding officer returned with a second officer and found Hall sitting in a car parked in the driveway.
"Officers communicated to the suspect that he was being arrested for the incident that had happened that evening," Lendvay said. "The suspect did not comply with the verbal commands, became combative and physically resisted officers as they struggled with him to take him into custody."
As the struggle escalated, Lendvay said, the officers pulled out Tasers and, at one point, Hall grabbed one of the Tasers. That's when McGee fired his weapon eight times, and Hall was hit by at least one of the shots and died at the scene, according to Lendvay.
Lendvay said it's uncertain how many times Hall was shot.
Hall's family has disputed the police accounts. Dingle said she watched her husband take his last breaths after police shot and killed him.
"Double-teamed him then they shot him right there -- five times, maybe more and he dropped right there. You see the blood he died right there," she said.
Dingle told News4Jax that she watched everything happen and her husband never grabbed a Taser.
"I saw this with my own eyes. My husband did not take no Taser. How could he take a Taser when he's drunk -- No. 1. And they choked him out and he couldn't breather -- No. 2. And you shoot him," Dingle said. "You don't have to beat on him like that he didn't deserve that and, again like I say, he squeezed out of the truck as soon as he got out they grabbed him in a choke hold until he couldn't breathe."
Dingle said her husband's killing was unjustifiable.
"Police gunned down my husband for resisting arrest, for no reason, he did not put his hands on him. They chased him first, Tasers out and shot him. I was standing on the side, they gunned him down like a dog," Dingle said. "It was me and him going through a thing, but it wasn’t what they needed to use force. You could have shot in the air or in the leg. Why right there (and) that many times? Why that many times? And then when they drop on the ground and turn him over like a dog and I watched it happen in my front lawn. And that’s all I got to say. Justice will be done."
At the news conference, Lendvay responded to Dingle's account.
"It's important to realize that any incident, every individual there is looking at it or seeing it from a different perspective -- that goes for officers, that goes for civilians and all of that testimony has to be taken into account as a whole before you draw any conclusions," he said.
The couple's niece, Tiarra Campbell, said her uncle did not deserve to die.
"We all have our problems, but nobody deserves to die like that. No one deserves to die like that in front of their wife. That's just crazy," Campbell said.
Court records show Hall had a lengthy arrest history, including two domestic violence injunctions brought against him -- one of which was from his current wife.
In an arrest report from March 2015, police said, Hall beat his wife in the face with a closed fist, kicked her in the stomach, held her face in the toilet with his hands around her neck and also bit her in the back. Police said they found her in the fetal position, lying in a pool of blood, when they arrived.
"The restraining order was against my husband, but we reconciled and trying to get our marriage together," Dingle said. "He didn't deserve to die, and he's dead. He didn't have to shoot him that many times. He wouldn't be dead. He could've shot him once. He could've shot in the air. I had to stand there and watch that. I had to watch them murder him, and beat him and shoot him."
According to Department of Corrections records, Hall served four years in prison for trafficking heroin.
Lendvay said Wednesday's incident is another sad example of domestic violence, “and the havoc it creates when it spirals out of control.”
It was McGee's first use of deadly force and he was placed on administrative leave, which is standard operating procedure when there's a police-involved shooting, Lendvay said. He added that the second officer, who did not fire her weapon, was also put on administrative leave because of her proximity to the shooting. Her name was not released by JSO.
The Fraternal Order of Police issued the following statement on its Facebook page:
"We are very fortunate that our officers were unscathed by a suspect who apparently chose to make horrible decisions which led to this terrible incident.
"Please keep the officers in your thoughts and prayers as their instantaneous decisions ensured the safety of the victims, themselves, and the community. Their actions will now undergo the MMQB of numerous investigations compounding the critical stress they're already experiencing."
This is the fourth shooting involving a JSO officer this year, and the second incident in which an officer killed a suspect. A third case turned deadly after the suspect shot and killed himself during a standoff.