CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – The Clay County Sheriff’s Office refused to answer questions Thursday after deputies shot and killed someone Wednesday night in Orange Park following a car chase.
Videos from News4JAX viewers show the end of a chase and the moment when deputies opened fire.
News4JAX tried to get Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook to answer basic questions about the shooting on Thursday afternoon, but she did not want to comment, citing an ongoing investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
So for now, it’s unclear why those deputies shot and killed the person in the car and why the chase started. All we have to go off of is the videos sent to News4JAX by witnesses.
In one of the videos, you can hear Clay County deputies yelling at the car saying “let me see it” twice before multiple shots are fired. It’s unclear how many deputies fired shots.
The person recording the video then runs back towards the gas station on Blanding Boulevard. Then you hear what sounds like deputies yelling at them telling them to go.
From another angle, a Clay County resident’s dashcam shows flashing lights coming down Blanding Boulevard.
The car running from deputies can be seen ramming between two other cars to get through before deputies use a PIT maneuver to get the car to stop.
News4JAX spoke to the man who sent us this video.
“We know it’s a crazy world today so anything can happen so like I said I started back,” the resident said. “We were pretty scared. We started backing up just in case.”
Then you can hear 18 to 20 gunshots.
“It was pretty scary. I was pretty sure that somebody got hurt. My wife is still pretty shaken up,” the resident said.
Sheriff Cook said the pursuit started after the agency got a call out of Orange Park. That led to a chase, then the deadly shooting.
But it’s still unclear what the call was about, why the chase started and why deputies killed the person driving. The identity of the person killed, and the deputies involved, are also unknown.
News4JAX tried to ask Sheriff Cook about those details while she was at another event on Thursday.
“Any comment from you on the shooting from last night? Any basics?” News4JAX asked.
“No ma’am. No Ma’am,” Cook replied. “I don’t want to, listen, this is about this right here.”
During a brief Wednesday night news conference, Cook said there was no threat to the community and that several deputies were involved. News4JAX asked the sheriff’s office how many officers were on administrative leave, but it wouldn’t comment.
After this story was published, Cook posted a video on her personal Facebook page, in which she spoke about the FDLE handling the investigation.
“As a commitment to this community and our members, we bring in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate shootings, and really once that happens, the responsibility for updating information is theirs for a couple of reasons. One, they’re doing the investigation, and two, as the leader of the organization I want to make sure that this investigation is completely and thoroughly transparent and thoroughly done, and I don’t want to be weighing in to something, you know, our members and our community deserves to let the facts lead where they may, and I’m very confident and comfortable in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,” Cook said.
News4JAX reached out to FDLE with our questions it issued this statement: “At the request of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, FDLE is investigating the Orange Park officer involved shooting from Wednesday. Our case is active. Agents continue to conduct interviews and review evidence.”
News4JAX records show in the last three years, this is the fifth time Clay County deputies have shot someone, and in all those shootings, including the incident on Wednesday night, no deputies were hurt.