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JSO releases body camera footage in February police shooting

Daniel Neal, 37, was shot by police Feb. 21. The shooting is pending the State Attorney’s Office’s review.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released body camera footage Monday from the Feb. 21 police shooting of Daniel Neal.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released body camera footage Monday from the Feb. 21 police shooting of Daniel Neal. (Screenshot via Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/YouTube)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four months after a 37-year-old Jacksonville man was fatally shot by a detective at a San Jose apartment complex, police have released body camera footage showing how the deadly shooting unfolded.

The short video clip uploaded Monday to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office YouTube page shows the Feb. 21 police pursuit and subsequent shooting of Daniel Neal, who was suspected in a robbery reported the same day.

Neal, who was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, did not survive.

Neal’s killing, which marked JSO’s first police-involved shooting of 2021, remains under review by the State Attorney’s Office. It’s unclear when the SAO will release a report summing up its findings.

The shaky footage shows an officer pursuing Neal on foot and ordering him to surrender.

“Stop! Police! Police! Get on the ground! Stop! Get on the ground! You better get on the ground!” the officer can be heard yelling as he chases Neal.

Moments later, two gunshots ring out as Neal climbs the front steps of an apartment building. He drops what appears to be a handgun and collapses.

Police then place Neal in handcuffs, radio for backup and medical assistance for him.

As News4Jax previously reported, JSO Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters told reporters that officers were working surveillance duty in the area Feb. 21 in response to a recent string of robberies. Shortly before 6 a.m., Waters said, they heard a robbery call go out and spotted Neal fleeing the scene.

Neal was crossing the street to another complex when he passed the car of Det. J.G. Bennett, who got out and chased after him, Waters said. He said Neal disregarded police orders to stop and tried to run into a building when Bennett fired two rounds, striking Neal.

The 37-year-old was taken to an area hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

A Smith & Wesson handgun reported stolen from a car in 2020 was recovered at the scene.

The shooting marked a first for Bennett, a 13-year veteran of JSO. He was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for police-involved shootings.

The agency’s transparency page shows JSO’s administrative review process, which determines whether use of force followed agency policy, is still pending, as is the SAO’s independent review.