ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The St. Johns County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined a man was wounded in the shoulder by a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop, but that was after the man had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to a news release Wednesday from the Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon after the deputy performed the traffic stop in the Julington Creek area, Sheriff Robert Hardwick reported. Investigators determined the man fired a shot, and in reaction, the deputy fired a shot.
Apart from the self-inflicted gunshot, the Sheriff’s Office said, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the man who died sustained a gunshot wound to the shoulder that had been fired by the deputy, but the wound was determined to be non-life-threatening.
The deputy, identified as Jylton Tusha, was not injured. The Sheriff’s Office said he’s worked with the department since Oct. 14, 2019, and this was his first deputy-involved shooting.
“This is an unfortunate situation for all involved and illustrates the dangers of this profession and that a deputy sheriff never really knows what they are approaching,” Hardwick said in a prepared statement. “We ask that you keep those involved in your thoughts and prayers including the deceased’s family.”
In its news release, the Sheriff’s Office said it recognizes the importance of mental health and encouraged anyone who might be struggling to reach out for help. It listed the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) and the National Alliance on Mental Health (800-950-6264).