Officer investigating hit-and-run shoots suspect

Veteran officer in Saturday morning shooting hit by suspect's bullet in 2008

By Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A police officer investigating an early-morning hit-and-run on Moncrief exchanged gunfire with a person standing in the front yard of a home on Frazier Street.  The officer was not hurt, but the gunman was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, a tip led Officer Clifford Sames to the home near Stanton College Preparatory where three people were standing outside.

"As he approached the individuals, one of the individuals, unprovoked, opened fire on Officer Sames and Sames was forced to return fire," said JSO Chief of Detectives Adam Brown.

Police say Sames was not injured and fired five shots in return. The suspect ran, but was found in a shed and taken to UF Heath at Jacksonville.

"They pulled up on him like they was coming to jump up on him," said Roosevelt Pickney, who said he witnessed the shooting while walking with his children. "The guy, he wasn't aiming anything.  He was turned like he was trying to hide something."

The name of the man shot was not released on Saturday. Brown said the man's injuries were not life-threatening.

Sames is a 12-year veteran of the JSO. This was his second shooting incident, having returned fire after being shot in the neck by a suspect in September 2008.

Sames was placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol.

"This was a routine follow up to a hit-and-run investigation. It wasn't even a felony hit-and-run," Brown said. "The officer's following that up and all of a sudden he finds himself in a deadly confrontation, so it does illustrate this is a very dangerous  job."

Police do not expect to release any additional information on Saturday.

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