Jacksonville officer shot in face outside hospital; shooter dead, officials say

Incident marks JSO’s 5th officer-involved shooting of year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An officer is in critical condition in the hospital after being shot outside Baptist Medical Center South on Tuesday night, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. The shooter is dead.

The incident began when an off-duty officer noticed a vehicle driving through the hospital parking lot suspiciously on Tuesday night, according to News 6 partner News4JAX.

The officer attempted to stop that car, but the person drove away, Sheriff T.K. Waters said during a media briefing.

UNCUT: Press play below to watch the full briefing from Sheriff T.K. Waters

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Other officers who were near the hospital responded and helped look for the vehicle. One of those responding officers also tried to stop the vehicle, and the man inside the car rolled the window down slightly, held out a gun, or what looked like a gun, and said, “Shoot me,” Waters said.

The man then fired one shot into a police car. The officer in that police car didn’t shoot back at the time, Waters said.

Other officers got involved after the shot was fired and attempted to conduct a PIT maneuver on the vehicle, which failed.

The shooter then crashed into a police car, hit another police car head on, and then crashed into a pole, Waters said.

Officers attempted to get the man out of the car by giving him loud verbal commands repeatedly, but he refused to get out of the car, Waters said.

An officer was shot outside Baptist Health South on Tuesday night. The shooter is dead. (WJXT)

An officer then approached the vehicle, and as he reached to open a door, the man fired a shot through the window, striking the officer in the face. That bullet went down toward his chest area, Waters said.

Five officers returned fire, striking the shooter and killing him.

Before this incident, the shooter had only a speeding ticket on his record, according to Waters.

“This shows what police work is. Police officers are not expendable. They’re human beings doing their job to keep people safe,” Waters said. “We don’t come here expecting to be shot or killed, but we’re going to do everything we can to continue to work, continue to keep our city safe and protect our police officers.”

An officer was shot outside Baptist Health South on Tuesday night. The shooter is dead. (WJXT)

This is JSO’s fifth officer-involved shooting this year, and the third officer this year who’s been shot.

This officer was in the same JSO class as Malik Daricaud, who was shot while conducting a follow-up investigation of a traffic stop last month. Daricaud is now recovering from his injuries.

“That is something that I’ve never seen in the 32 years that I’ve been working here,” Waters said. “It’s getting very ridiculous, very dangerous, and it’s concerning.”

The Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police posted a message on Facebook, asking for prayers for the officer:

All officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, according to Waters. That is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings.

The State Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation.

A spokesperson from Baptist Health released a statement Tuesday night:

“There was an incident outside of Baptist Medical Center South late this evening. Security noticed a suspicious person outside the hospital and notified the campus off-duty police officer. The officer called Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for additional support. Baptist South went on lockdown for the safety of our patients, visitors and staff.”

News4JAX crime and safety analyst Lakesha Burton shared her insights on the shooting during The Morning Show on Wednesday, saying being wounded or shot at in the line of duty is every officer’s worst fear.

“It’s alarming if you look at what’s going on all across the country, officers are being gunned down all over our country,” she said. “It’s time for us to come together and build stronger relationships and for the community to support our police officers.”

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About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.