DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A Daytona Beach police officer who was shot in the head Wednesday is in critical condition after undergoing surgery, while a massive manhunt is underway for the suspected shooter, authorities said.
The shooting happened around 8:50 p.m. near the 100 block of Kingston Avenue in Daytona Beach, south of Mason Avenue and west of North Beach Street.
Daytona Beach police said Officer Jason Raynor, 26, was on Kingston Avenue investigating a suspicious incident but after a few minutes, he stopped responding to calls on his radio. When other officers responded to the location, he was found lying on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound, according to police.
Raynor, who’s been with the Daytona Beach Police Department for about three years, was rushed to Halifax Health in grave condition. Police later said he was in critical condition following surgery.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said a $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of 29-year-old Othal Wallace. He’s considered armed and dangerous and is believed to be driving a gray 2016 Honda HR-V bearing California license plate number 7TNX532, officials said.
A Daytona Beach police public information officer confirmed at about 11 p.m. Wednesday that a multi-agency manhunt is underway. Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said Thursday morning that U.S. Marshals are now involved in the search.
No change in the status of my hero who was shot in the line of duty last night. He’s fighting while all of us are praying 🙏🏾 The manhunt continues for the coward responsible for this.....— Chief Jakari Young (@ChiefJakari) June 24, 2021
Young said Volusia County was locked down for about three hours after the shooting.
“This entire county is on lockdown until we track this coward down. So I’m grateful for every agency that’s responded over here tonight to help us as they’re committed to staying out here until we get this coward in custody,” Young said.
While it’s unknown if Wallace is still in Volusia County, Young said he “hit on some technology” in the Deltona area. Young said Thursday morning, however, that the search had expanded.
Not long before Young addressed the media, his department released body camera video that showed Raynor approaching Wallace while he sat in the driver’s seat of the Honda.
Wallace stood up and got out of the car as the officer repeatedly told him to sit back down, according to the footage.
“Come on now, don’t do this,” Wallace said.
The two then struggled before a shot is heard and the officer fell to the ground, the video shows.
Several roads were closed in the area as hundreds of officers from multiple Central Florida agencies patrolled in their cruisers.
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kim Montes said at about 10:45 p.m. that parts of Interstate 4 and Interstate 95 were shut down in connection with the investigation. The roadways were later reopened.
This is a developing story, check back for more updates.