JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The State Attorney’s Office on Tuesday released body camera videos that revealed more details about three police shootings that happened within the last year in Jacksonville.
One of the videos released shows the scene of a police shootout on Interstate 10 with murder suspect Leroy Edwards Jr. The videos, from multiple angles, show officers firing several shots before they found Edwards down, motionless, in front of the truck. His gun was under the truck.
“He’s still moving,” an officer can be heard saying “I can’t tell. I put several rounds in him.”
Edwards survived and has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder in connection to the shooting of two people at the Pilot Travel Center on U.S. 301 in December of 2019. Investigators called the shooting a case of workplace violence. They said the suspect and the victim worked together at Rinaudo Enterprises, a trucking company. Family members identified the victim who died as Todd Phillips, 58. The other man is believed to have recovered.
The State Attorney’s Office also released a video showing the November 2019 shooting of wanted burglary suspect Timothy Lagonia.
Lagonia, 35, was shot and critically wounded by Officer R.A. Lind on Hawthorne Street. Police were called to the home to check on a suspicious person and found Lagonia, who was wanted in a recent burglary.
Investigators said Lagonia ran, was tasered and fell down, but was not subdued. According to police, another officer approaching him also fell down, and when Lagonia pulled a knife, Lind fired three shots. Lagonia was hospitalized in critical condition. In the video, Lind said he hit Lagonia in the neck and the back.
“Tim, take your hands out of your pocket,” Lind can be heard saying shortly before firing. “Get your hands out of your pocket. Get your hands out of your (expletive) pocket!”
“Roll me sideways or something,” Lagonia said after regaining consciousness. “We’re trying to keep pressure on the wound Tim, we’re trying to keep pressure,” Lind replied.
“I hope she’s happy,” Lagonia said, possibly referring to a woman on the scene.
“Nobody’s happy right now,” Lind responded.
The third group of videos was of the April shooting of Kyon Wilkes, who police chased after spotting him speeding and driving the wrong way on the Arlington Expressway. A woman was also in the vehicle but stayed in it.
Wilkes, 24, was shot and wounded on Playa Way. According to police, when he got out of the car, he had a gun in hand, and Officer J.R. Matthews fired.
“He’s got a gun, gun, gun,” yelled Matthews as he was chasing Wilkes.
“Shots fired! Shots fired,” he told dispatchers.
He then yelled commands at the still conscious Wilkes. “Don’t move! Don’t move! Do not move! I cannot help you until we make it safe, do you understand me?”
“The only thing I wanna say sorry I did not reach for no gun, I swear to God,” Wilkes responded.
The video shows a small black handgun on the ground next to where Wilkes was lying.
Officers administered emergency medical care and put pressure on the wounds in all three shootings as they waited for rescue to arrive.
“These things happen just that quick,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson. “These officers have seconds to make a decision whether it’s going to be deadly force or non-lethal force.”
Jefferson watched all three video compilations and said they all appeared to be justified and police acted appropriately given the circumstances. He said the officers were protecting themselves and fellow patrolmen when they fired.
All three of the men involved in the police shootings survived and each of the shootings has been ruled justified by the State Attorney’s Office.