Sheriff's Office: Suicidal teen, Clay County deputy both fired shots

Hadrian Rabadan remains in critical condition after Saturday incident

By Ashley Harding - Reporter

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - The Clay County Sheriff's Office says 15-year-old Hadrian Rabadan fired a shot Saturday night, prompting a deputy to fire his weapon. The teen was gravely injured, but whether it was from the deputy's bullet or his own is still under investigation.

Around 5:45 p.m., deputies were called to a home on Hercules Drive by Hadrian Rabadan's grandmother, who said the boy had a gun and wanted to kill himself.

Deputies said Rabadan fled a house where they believe he was barricaded and went into the woods behind the house. When they found Rabadan with the help of K9 teams, deputies said the teen fired at least one shot, and Deputy Jason Graff returned fire.

"I mean, I clearly heard, 'Pow. Hands up. Hands up.' I heard the dog, and by that time they was wheeling him out," said Matthew Dove, who lives next to the woods where Robodan was seen running into before he was shot. "I don't know if he shot himself or if the cop shot him. I mean, if the cop shot him, he'd have to be pretty straight on to shoot him in the head."

Rabadan was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, then transferred to UF Health Jacksonville in life-threatening condition. His condition was updated to critical on Sunday.

Deputies say they retrieved the handgun Rabadan used, and investigators are looking into how the teen obtained it.

The shooting investigation was turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is customary for police-involved shootings in Clay County.  Deputy Graff was placed on paid administrative leave, which is also standard procedure in such cases.

The Sheriff's Office did release Rabadan's juvenile felony history, which includes theft of a gun and possession of a 9mm handgun and loaded magazine at Orange Park Junior High School in January 2011, when he was 13.

Later that year, Rabadan was accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic assault. According to that arrest report, the teen threatened his grandmother with a baseball bat.

That grandmother, Patricia Laughter, told Channel 4 on Sunday the boy was on life support.

"The mother did get to see the boy and he did pass in her arms," said Laughter. "At least she brought him into the world and she got to hold him going out."

Laughter said Rabadan's criminal past was long behind him.

"He did more than a 360-degree turn. He finished the ninth grade at home," said Laughter. "He will pass this year, just like he passed last night from Clay County shooting him in the head."

Col. Craig Aldrich said this may be the latest in a series of disputes involving Rabadan and his girlfriend.

"Apparently his girlfriend has an injunction against him. He also has a very extensive, violent criminal record," Aldrich said.

While the investigation will determine if Rabadan's wound was self-inflicted or if he was shot by the deputy, Laughter believes the later.

"That dog was plenty trained to take a child that was on his knees, that had a right broken hand, with them on the phone with him in his left hand, which gun was in what hand?" asked Laughter.

Whatever the case, Laughter believes her grandson was shot for no good reason.

"We have hired a lawyer," said Laughter. "We will sue Clay County, and we are going to get justice for him."

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