Father of man accused of shooting Jacksonville officers speaks

Derrick Brabham shot at officers, police say

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A father whose only wish was to see his children on the right path, Reginold Brabham never thought his oldest son would be shot and killed by police.

"I definitely can't fault the officers for what they did," Reginold Brabham said. "They did what they had to do to protect themselves. If my son truly had a weapon, they did the right thing to protect themselves."

Police said Derrick Brabham, 25, fired a rifle at officers in a Westside home Friday night after threatening to kill himself and his family. Officers Michael Fox and Kevin Jarrell were hit by the gunfire as they entered the home, but returned file and killed the gunman.

The two officer are recovering at UF Health Jacksonville, and Reginold Brabham's father feels for them.

"I'm so sorry this had to happen. It should not have happened," he said. "I wish I could turn back the clock and had knowledge. I wouldn't have ever allowed this day to take place."

Reginold Brabham said he raised his son as a single parent. He said he did the best he could with him and never saw this coming.

"He's never been one to be aggressive," Reginold Brabham said.

While many people are looking at his son as a "bad" person, Reginold Brabham said the reality is he wasn't. One thing he did admit, though, was his son's actions were wrong and he's apologizing to those officers for what happened.

"I can not honestly say that my son's life is more valuable than someone else's life. He did a terrible thing, if he did what he was alleged to do," Reginold Brabham said. "Police, they have a right to go home to their families and they have a right to defend themselves."

Reginold Brabham lives minutes away from where his son was staying and where the shooting happened. What he said led him to believe something was going wrong at his son's house Friday night.

Police said Derrick Brabham was intoxicated while threatening his girlfriend, her mother and a friend with a gun. They said his 19-month-old daughter was in the house at the time of the shooting.

Reginold Derrick shared with News4Jax a family photo that showed photo of his family, including Derrick with his fiancée. 

The reason the situation is so surprising to Reginold Brabham is because he raised his two sons alone for 14 years, he said he knew them like no other. He described Derrick was a loving kid who had no criminal run-ins with the law.

 

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