'Long road ahead' for officers hurt in Westside shootout

Sheriff says both wounded officers recovering

By Allyson Henning - Reporter , Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist , News4Jax.com Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sheriff Mike Williams praised the actions of two of his officers recovering at UF Health Jacksonville after being shot Friday night responding to a "alcohol-fueled domestic situation.

The Sheriff’s Office said four to five officers responded at 10:50 p.m. to a 911 call from a home on Seaboard Avenue near Timuquana Road, where three women reported they had retreated to a back bedroom after a man was firing shots.

When the officers arrived at the house, they heard gunfire and believed there was an active shooter. As the first two officers entered the front door, the suspect, 25-year-old Derrick Brabham, began shooting at the officers with an M&P Semi Automatic .223 high-powered rifle and an exchange of gunfire ensued, police said.

Officer Kevin Jarrell was shot in the stomach and the second officer, Michael Fox, was struck once in both hands. Both officers were both taken to UF Health Jacksonville.

Brabham was killed by police during the exchange, Williams said. 

Sheriff Mike Williams said in a press briefing Saturday that Jarrell and Fox were in stable condition and have, "a long road ahead" to recovery."

"Keep in mind that the body armor that we wear does not stop this kind of rifle," Williams said. "There's not a lot that is designed that you could wear on a daily basis that does stop that. And these officers know that, but still were able to come up against something like this… I'm glad I survived that encounter."

WATCH: Uncut Sheriff Williams briefing on 2 officers shot
IMAGES: 2 JSO officers shot on city's Westside

Fox is an 11-year veteran of the force. Friday night's shootout was the second police-involved shooting in his career. Jarrell is a five-year veteran. The shootout was his first police-involved shooting. 

In May 2016, Jarrell was named Police Officer of the Month  for his work patrolling Zone 4, which is located on the Westside. 

Williams praised the community support and asked for prayers for the recovering officers and their families and said that without them working to stop the threat, more lives could have been in danger.

"And also, to be able to perform the way that they did under that kind of stress is tremendous. A tremendous job by those officers," Williams said.

Late Saturday, Steve Zona, president of the Fraternal Order of Police released a statement:

The violence against the brave men and women who protect our communities that occurred last night in proud communities in Florida and Pennsylvania cannot be accepted. There are serious challenges that must be overcome by hard-working and well-meaning men and women due to the divisive rhetoric by those who stand behind the protection they provide. We need leaders willing to work towards changing the conversation and focus on improving the environments that breed this acceptance of violent behavior."

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