Officer investigating burglary grazed by bullet; suspect fatally shot, Jacksonville sheriff says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Units with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were investigating a residential burglary Friday night, when a man inside a car — identified as suspect vehicle — fired a shot that grazed an officer’s face, and police returned fire, killing that man, Sheriff T.K. Waters said.

Waters said police responded to the burglary at about 5:30 p.m., and about an hour later, they located the suspect vehicle on Hardee Street, where they spoke with a resident of a house to determine who was inside the vehicle. The sheriff said police tracked some things that were stolen from the earlier burglary to that location.

Noticing there was a handgun on top of the car, Waters said, five officers approached the vehicle, removed the handgun and discussed how they were going to speak with the person inside the car, who was sleeping.

“When they opened the door, they asked him to show them their hands on several different occasions, probably seven or eight times from different officers, and they asked him also to get out of the car,” Waters said. “He refused to get out of the car. He kept saying, ‘Turn the light off. Get the light out of my face so I can see.’”

(Uncut news briefing from Sheriff T.K. Waters below)

“During the conversation, for an unknown reason, he fired off a shot and grazed one of our officers, wounding him on the left side of his face,” Waters added. “Officers returned fire, all five of them, striking him several times and killing him at the scene.”

The officer was taken to a hospital where he was said to be OK. Waters said he was expected to soon be released from the hospital.

The sheriff said he was just about to have dinner when he received the call about what occurred.

“And when I got the phone call, I just lost my appetite, got dressed and came out, immediately went to the hospital to see him,” Waters said. “You know, you just get that sick feeling because you don’t want to lose an officer in the line of duty. That’s that was my concern.”

The man who was shot by police was not immediately identified.

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