JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One man is dead and another is in critical condition after an attempted traffic stop leads to a crash and an officer-involved shooting Sunday night in Northwest Jacksonville. No officers were injured.
Investigators said an officer spotted a car with two men inside going south in the northbound lanes of Moncrief Road around 9:20 p.m. The officer turned his cruiser around and attempted to stop the car, but Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters said the driver refused to stop.
The car the men were in crashed into another car at the intersection of Moncrief Road and 45th Street West. Two people in the other car suffered minor injuries and the car the officer was following crashed into a pedestrian bridge at the intersection.
Investigators said as Officer N.E. Lawson approached the suspects’ car, there was “an exchange” and the officer fired his weapon several times. The men, both in their early 20s, were taken to the hospital where one died and the other was being treated for critical injuries.
After the crash, investigators said, they found a firearm in the back seat of the vehicle. On Tuesday, JSO released a photo of the firearm allegedly found in the possession of the suspects.
Police have not released the names of the men shot.
Waters said Lawson has been with the Sheriff’s Office for one year and seven months and this was his first officer-involved shooting. Waters said Lawson was wearing a body camera. He will be on leave during the investigation.
A man working at a gas station at Moncrief Road and West 45th told News4Jax he heard a loud impact from the initial crash then heard three to five shots fired.
Another man told News4Jax he witnessed the crash.
“I saw the police chasing the car,” said the man who didn’t want to be identified. “The car hit a car coming off of 45th. It ... hit the beam. The police came up, jumped out his car and gave some kind of command. I really couldn’t hear it, but after that there, he just went to shooting.”
JSO and the State Attorney’s Office both spent much of the night at the intersection investigating the shooting. Just after 6 a.m. Monday, the vehicles involved were towed away and both West 45th and Moncrief were open to traffic again.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said the body camera will answer a lot of the public’s questions, but it probably won’t be released until the investigations are completed.
“The body-worn camera will provide up close and personal video of actually what happened,” Jefferson said. “Hopefully there is audio along with the video that will help in this particular investigation because, right now, the information released is vague. It leaves one to wonder. It leads one to question what happened.”
This was the first officer-involved shooting of 2020. According to JSO records, there were 11 last year, the most recent the week before Christmas. Of last year’s police-involved shootings, six were deadly.