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Formal complaint filed against officer who shot, killed man outside sandwich shop

Officer says he acted in self-defense; Family doesn't believe JSO's story

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a 44-year-old man shot and killed by a police officer filed a formal complaint against the 15-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Daniel Blyler's mother, Wanice Blyler, and four other relatives filed the formal complaint with the Sheriff's Office just before noon Wednesday. 

Blyler's family members said they believe JSO Officer L.K. Johnson, who shot their loved one on Friday, did not justifiably do so. 

Wanice Blyler said she doesn't the the Sheriff's Office version of what happened.

According to JSO, police responded to the sandwich shop Friday after receiving a call about an intoxicated man. While officers were on their way, police said, the manager called back to say the man had a gun and was sitting in his truck in the parking lot.

Police said when Johnson pulled up and tried to talk to Blyler, he reached for his waistband, and the officer saw a pistol. That's when Johnson fired 13 shots, killing Blyler, JSO said.

Johnson told investigators he acted in self-defense. 

"If he knew a police officer was there, he knew not to touch anywhere near his gun. I don't think he saw the police officer before he started pulling up his pants because he was high," Wanice Blyler said. 

Wanice Blyler said her son did not deserve to be killed, arguing that he was not reaching for his gun, but instead, he was likely pulling up his pants. 

News4Jax was unable to obtain the complaint, and was told by family members that it's confidential. News4Jax, however, was at the Sheriff's Office when the family walked through the doors to file the complaint.

According to JSO, it could take more than 180 days before the complaint is reviewed and responded to. News4Jax learned that the complaint filed by the family will not be reviewed until JSO completes the initial investigation.

Wanice Blyler said she believes her son is a victim.

"That police officer was supposed to be there to help him, not to shoot him down like a dog," she said. 

Family members said Blyler was a family man who got along with everyone and respected law enforcement, so they're having a difficult time coming to grips with the way we died. 

A JSO spokeswoman sent News4Jax the following statement:

"The investigation into the shooting of Daniel Blyler is active and ongoing. The results of the investigation, when concluded, will be reviewed by the State Attorney, who makes a determination of whether or not the shooting was justified. Therefore, we cannot respond to allegations or comment on the investigation."