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Friends, family remember Jacksonville teen who died during traffic stop

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On Friday night, loved ones gathered to remember the life of 18-year-old Devon Gregory.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the medical examiner found Gregory had a self-inflicted gunshot wound following an officer-involved shooting on Tuesday night. It happened near Cassat Avenue and San Juan Drive.

Family and friends who gathered Friday were wearing red, Gregory’s favorite color.

Friends and family gather to honor 18-year-old Devon Gregory.
Friends and family gather to honor 18-year-old Devon Gregory. (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

News4Jax spoke with Tina Rhiles, one of Gregory’s cousins, who said she is heartbroken.

“Every time I saw him he would be laughing,” Rhiles said. “He was happy. He was friendly, kind, gentle.”

She saw the body camera video that JSO released Thursday but she says there are still many questions to be answered.

The video shows what happened Tuesday night.

RELATED: Authorities: 18-year-old in Jacksonville police-involved shooting had self-inflicted gunshot wound

Investigators say they were conducting a traffic stop on the Westside of the city when the car Gregory was in appeared to be swerving.

Once the car was stopped, police said they smelled marijuana in the car where Gregory was sitting in the passenger seat.

In the 19 minute video, officers repeatedly ask Gregory to put his hands up, but he refused.

During the back-and-forth, Gregory appeared to have a cellphone held to his left ear. Gregory’s aunt, who didn’t give her name, said she was on the phone with him.

“He was scared,” she said. “He said Auntie I’m on Cassat. He wanted me to come get him. Do y’all think I would have been on the phone with him if he wanted to do something to himself? While I was on the phone with him? He loved me. He loved his family.”

Once police heard a gunshot go off, officers fired.

The medical examiner has not determined if the self-inflicted gunshot wound resulted in Gregory’s death.

“He’s never had any problems,” Riles said. “He’s never spoken to counselors or a therapist.”

Gregory’s cousin said the family will likely get its own second opinion from a different medical examiner.


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