JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who approached Jacksonville officers with a gun in his hand Wednesday morning was shot and killed by police at a Motel 6 on Dunn Avenue, not far from Interstate 95.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief Scott Dingee said the incident began just after 10 a.m. when a veteran officer and a JSO recruit were checking out an unattended Chevrolet Cruze with the trunk open in the motel parking lot. As they learned that the car was reported stolen last week from Macon, Georgia, a woman approached.
After she told the officers it belonged to her boyfriend, they attempted to take her into custody, but she resisted being handcuffed. Police said that while they were detaining her, a man approached the officers carrying a bag and a gun. He dropped the bag when ordered but kept the gun in his hand.
Dingee said the suspect fired a shot during a struggle but missed the officer, who fired several shots, killing the man.
"We can determine at this time that the officer was not struck by the gunfire, although he did sustain some injuries during the struggle," Dingee said.
The officer was hospitalized in good condition.
The recruit pulled a weapon but did not fire. Both were placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Police are working to identify the man and have not yet named the officers involved. The woman was detained for questioning, but police did not yet know if she would face any charges.
Police said neither officer was wearing a body camera, but investigators were looking at surveillance footage from the motel and talking to numerous witnesses.
Lasonia Kassim, who said she was staying at the motel, heard the gunfire.
"I hear eight or nine shots. I get up. I immediately open my door. I see a police officer holster his gun. I see a man on the ground on his stomach," Kassim said.
Patricia Reaves, who works nearby, also heard the gunfire.
"We’re in here just working and we hear the gunshots going off -- pop, pop, pop -- eight of them. And then police rush up," Reaves said.
One man said he wasn't surprised by the shooting.
"No, not really," Daniel Harris said. "It’s Jacksonville. People are stupid. It happens all the time, nonstop."
Police said more details of the shooting, including the names of the people involved, would be released Thursday.
This was the fourth shooting this year by a JSO officer and the third that resulted in a death. That's the lowest number of police shootings in several years.
After each police shooting, there are investigations by both by the JSO and the State Attorney's Office.