Man carrying AK-47 shoots Daytona Beach police officer, officials say

'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you,' suspect says

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A man carrying an AK-47 rifle shot a Daytona Beach police officer late Sunday night, but the suspect said he meant to shoot people who "triple-crossed him," authorities said.

Investigators said Raymond Roberts, 40, was walking around with the rifle, and when police confronted him, he shot at the officers.

"The officer was about a block away when he responded with two other officers, and they confronted the suspect and immediately when the officers got out of the car, he opened fire on the officers," Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said.

Capri told News 6 that two good Samaritans rushed to help Officer Kevin Hird and applied pressure to the gunshot wound on his upper arm.

"Two of my officers returned fire on the suspect and did not hit him," Capri said. "Unfortunately, one of my officers was hit in the arm. Thank God, he's going to be OK."

Those two officers have been placed on leave, which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting.

Hird was taken to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach. Capri said Hird underwent surgery to repair a shattered bone in his arm, but was in good spirits and was already able to move his right hand.

Following the shooting, Roberts fled on foot but was caught by officers near Martin Luther King Boulevard and South Street.

"He is a convicted felon. A street maggot that's out here committing crime and shooting randomly, especially at police officers," Capri said. "Thank God no citizens were hit."

Several people who live in the area called 911 to report the shooting.

"We just heard several gunshots and I seen someone walk down the road with a gun," one woman told a 911 operator.

After his arrest, Roberts told authorities that he meant to shoot at some people who "triple-crossed him" and the officers likely saved the lives of those people, according to the arrest report.

He told officers that he had had enough "mentally, physically and spiritually" before the shooting, officials said.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you," Roberts said when asked what he would say to Hird, according to the report. He also said, "I don't mind being punished, I did wrong."

Capri said Roberts was "arrogant" when he spoke to investigators and he admitted to the shooting.

Investigators said Roberts has pulled a gun on officers during two other past incidents earlier this year  and has a violent past. 

Roberts faces charges of aggravated battery with a firearm against a police officer, as well as three counts of attempted murder against law enforcement. 

Capri said he believes Roberts won't be back on the streets after this arrest.

“I’m glad we didn’t have to use deadly force. The criminal justice system will take care of getting him the sentence he deserves and I don’t think he’ll ever see the light of day again,” Capri said.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!