DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Daytona Beach police officer who was shot in the head is showing “positive signs” of improvement nearly three days after the incident that caused him to be rushed to the hospital.
According to the Daytona Beach Police Department, the suspected shooter, 29-year-old Othal Wallace, was arrested early Saturday morning and taken into custody using 26-year-old Jason Raynor’s handcuffs, who remains in critical condition.
“He has a heart of gold. He’s not perfect, just because none of us are perfect. But I can tell you if he pulls through this, this cop would do everything in his power to return to full duty and he will continue serving this community without an ounce of malice or hate in his heart for what happened to him, because that’s just the type of person that he is,” Chief Jakari Young said after the shooting.
A few years ago, Raynor was a Port Orange officer on a call when he crashed into two parked cars, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He was heading to another call when the crash occurred but he was not cited due to him being on a call.
Raynor, who has been with the Daytona Beach Police Department for three years, has had his mother and sister by his side as he continues to recover. Young said during a news briefing Saturday morning that he “still has a ways to go,” but doctors are comfortable moving forward with more testing now that he is “strong enough.”
News 6 was initially not showing any pictures of Raynor at his family’s request but we have since received permission from his sister to use one photo, which is shown at the top of this story.
When Raynor was rushed to the hospital, Young reiterated how young he was since his mother was the one in the hospital with him and not a spouse or children as would be the case with some other officers.
“We’re just going to continue to pray that he continues to heal. And I have the permission of his mother and sister to let everybody know that, you know, they greatly appreciate the support that they’ve received and they request that we just continue to keep officer Raynor in our prayers,” Young said.
According to the Port Orange Observer, Raynor was one of three officers who was presented an award of achievement in 2019 after talking down a woman who was threatening to jump off a bridge.
A GoFundMe account was set up by the department Friday to help alleviate the financial hardships the family is facing for his medical treatment. It has raised nearly $173,000 as of 8:55 a.m. Saturday.
“We decided that it’d be a good idea to kind of set up a way so that people in the public can, you know, give that assistance to the family in a way that we know will actually help the family,” Daytona Beach police public information officer Messod Bendayan said.