Family of man killed by police says his death was unjust, wants to see bodycam footage

Leon Burroughs was shot, killed by police after an officer was grazed by a bullet

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a man shot and killed by police after he reportedly grazed an officer with a bullet is speaking out about the incident, calling it unjust.

Investigators said Leon Burroughs, 39, was sleeping in a car on Hardee Street when police approached him in reference to a burglary investigation. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, he refused to get out of the car and then opened fire, grazing one of the officers in the face.

Police said Leon was connected to the burglary because they tracked some things that were stolen to his location.

Burroughs’ family said they are working to get a lawyer and are requesting to see the body camera video because they believe it’s unlike Burroughs to shoot at someone, but if the footage shows otherwise, then they said they will accept it.

“He was a good person. He would do anything for you,” said Leon Burroughs’ father, Charlie.

The shooting happened outside of Burroughs’ grandmother’s home Friday night.

Jewel Hill said officers knocked on her door asking about a bike and who was sleeping inside a white car. Hill told the officers Leon was inside the car.

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Then, Hill recalled hearing loud “pops” outside.

Video captured by a Ring camera showed officers surrounding her home.

Police said they told Burroughs to get out of the car and to show them his hands multiple times.

“And during this conversation, for an unknown reason, he fired off a shot and grazed one of our officers on the left side of his face. Our officers returned fire, all five of them, striking him several times, killing him at the scene,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said.

Burroughs’ family says the details of that night do not add up.

Hill said she couldn’t say whether or not Leon shot at police first. Burroughs’ father said he doesn’t believe it because it’s not like his son to do something like that.

“Show me that my son shot at y’all first for y’all to kill him like that,” the father said.

Police said a loaded gun was also found sitting on top of the car before they approached Leon. His family said they are unsure as to why it was there.

His grandmother also questioned the link to the burglary because the car that Leon was sleeping in hadn’t moved in two weeks and the bike police were referring to also belonged to him.

JSO said it will release body camera video within 21 days of the shooting.


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