BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. – The Bradford County Sheriff's Office has released dash camera video of a deadly shooting last year involving its deputies.
The footage, obtained by News4Jax on Friday, reveals the moments deputies were trying to get to cover while exchanging fire with 39-year-old Anthony Hodges, who was killed in the shooting that happened in October outside Hodges’ home in Lawtey.
This week, a Bradford County grand jury found the shooting to be justifiable.
Deputies responded Oct. 7 to the home on Northwest 216th Street after a call reporting a man who was not taking his medication had become aggressive and gone to his shed, where there was a firearm, the Sheriff's Office said.
According to deputies, when they arrived at the home, Hodges came out of the shed firing shots at them from a rifle. Deputies retreated behind a school bus that was on the property.
Hodges continued firing shots and deputies returned fire, hitting Hodges, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Geneva Wilkison, Hodges' mother, refused to watch the dashcam video, saying she already watched deputies tumble in her yard as they exchanged gunfire with her son.
"I chose not to relive that," she said. "I already hear bullets flying in my sleep. I try to hold it together."
She told News4Jax that her son had a history of mental health issues.
"I feel like they did what they had to do. I never blamed the police," Wilkison said.
She said her son was agitated the day of the shooting and that she was unaware he was in possession of a weapon. She said the assault rifle was legally purchased by his girlfriend.
“I just hope people that see this know, don’t buy a weapon for a mentally ill person. Don’t buy a weapon for anyone -- period," Wilkison said. "If they can’t buy it themselves, there’s a reason."
Wilkison said she hopes her son’s death will be an example for why she believes those suffering from mental illness shouldn’t have access to guns.
She added she will always remember Hodges as a loving and caring man.