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Man police say shot at officers with AK-47 charged with attempted murder

40-year-old could face 4 life sentences if convicted on charges

Daytona Beach police say Raymond Burns shot an officer with an AK-47 rifle on Sunday night.
Daytona Beach police say Raymond Burns shot an officer with an AK-47 rifle on Sunday night. (WKMG-TV photos)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A man accused of firing an AK-47 rifle at police officers in Daytona Beach in November, wounding one of them, is facing a potential mandatory life sentence in the case, the State Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

Raymond Roberts Jr., 40, has been charged with three counts of a attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, one count of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Roberts is accused of shooting Officer Kevin Hird in the arm and shooting at Lt. Jeremy Nikolow and Officer Maycon MacDowell on Nov. 25.

Investigators said Roberts was walking around with the rifle, and when police confronted him, he fired at the officers.

Daytona Beach police spokeswoman Lyda Longa told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that "a couple of citizens ran over to the officer and applied pressure to his arm until he could get to the hospital."

Following the shooting, Roberts fled on foot but was caught by officers near Martin Luther King Boulevard and South Street, police said.

Following the announcement of the charges, State Attorney R.J. Larizza issued the following statement: “The defendant walked through a residential neighborhood carrying a gun and shot at three Daytona Beach Police Department Officers in an attempt to kill them. The charges we filed reflect the deadly violent nature of the defendant’s conduct, and demonstrate our resolve to protect our law enforcement officers and the neighborhoods they patrol.”

If convicted on any of the attempted murder counts or the aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a firearm count, Roberts will face a mandatory life sentence. If convicted on all counts, Roberts could face four life sentences and an additional 45 years in prison. 

Roberts is set for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Daytona Beach.