JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was killed early Tuesday morning after a Jacksonville officer stopped to check on the well-being of a crash victim on J. Turner Butler Boulevard, the encounter turned into a struggle and the driver made threats he had a gun, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
JSO Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters said Officer B. Ondriezek responded just after 3 a.m. to a single-vehicle crash on eastbound JTB near Hodges Boulevard and began to talk with the driver, who was later identified by police as 61-year-old John Allen Dunaway III. During their conversation, the driver attacked the officer and claimed he had a gun, Waters said.
The officer was able to end the struggle and deployed his Tazer twice, according to Waters. The driver eventually got up, again claimed he had a gun and began to run toward his car, Waters said. That’s when the officer fired two shots, killing the man, Waters said. It’s unclear if the man had a gun.
Ondriezek, who Waters said has been with JSO for one year, was not injured. He will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in police-involved shootings.
This was Ondriezek’s first officer-involved shooting.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, who has 24 years of police experience, said the officer had seconds to decide how to handle the situation.
“The officer can’t wait to see if he’s going to produce a gun that can cause him his life,” he said. “That officer has to take appropriate action, and I think he did the right thing."
Waters said it’s unknown why Dunaway attacked the officer. It appears the man did not have a criminal background.
All eastbound and westbound lanes of JTB near Hodges Boulevard were closed while investigators were at the scene. By 9 a.m., all lanes of JTB were reopened, police said.
Both JSO and the State Attorney’s Office will investigate.
“The State Attorney’s Office is going to conduct an investigation and they want to make sure there was nothing criminal involved. JSO is looking at procedure-wise. Did he follow protocol? Did he follow all the rules and regulations governing police-involved shootings?" Jefferson said. “So you got those two investigations going on at the same time for two different reasons.”
The officer was wearing a body camera, but it’s unlikely the video will ever be released due to JSO policies.
According to News4Jax records, the number of people shot by JSO is the highest in five years:
2020 - 10 people shot, 6 dead
2019 - 9 shot, 6 dead
2018 - 5 shot, 4 dead
2017 - 9 shot, 7 dead
2016 - 9 shot, 3 dead
2015 - 10 shot, 5 dead
The number of police-involved shootings so far this year is still well below what’s considered the one-year high for JSO. That was in 2007 when there were 28 police shootings.
“Anytime we hear about or see a police-involved shooting, just know that’s the last thing a officer really wants to do is take someone’s life," Jefferson said. “But that officer wants to go home the same way he left home, so he has to protect himself as well as others when it comes down to deadly force.”