Jacksonville, FL – A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) officer was shot in the face and chest while trying to apprehend a suspect outside a local hospital on Tuesday night.
Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said the incident began at approximately 9:30 p.m. on April 18, when security personnel at Baptist Health South hospital were notified about a suspicious vehicle out in the parking lot, WJAX reported.
Security officers went out to check on the vehicle, at which point the driver allegedly refused to speak with them and drove through the parking area at a high rate of speed, Sheriff Waters said.
JSO officers responded to the scene after receiving a call for assistance from hospital security, WJAX reported.
When they arrived, the suspect allegedly pulled up holding an object that appeared to be a gun and told police to “shoot me,” Sheriff Waters said.
He then returned to recklessly speeding around the parking lot, crashing into multiple parked vehicles in the process, WJAX reported.
Although the gunman allegedly shot once at a JSO patrol car, the officers did not return fire, Sheriff Waters said.
Officers executed a precision immobilization technique (PIT) maneuver to bring the suspect vehicle to a stop, but it was unsuccessful, WJXT reported.
The suspect then crashed into two patrol vehicles – hitting one of them head-on – before slamming into a pole.
Sheriff Waters said officers were moving in to take the suspect into custody when the driver suddenly shot through the back window, hitting an officer in the chest and face, according to WJAX.
The other five officers at the scene immediately returned fire, killing the gunman.
The wounded officer was flown to UF Health and was listed in critical but stable condition on Wednesday morning, according to WJXT.
No patients or hospital personnel were injured during the incident, WJAX reported.
The identity of the deceased suspect was not immediately released.
Sheriff Waters said the gunman had only a speeding ticket on his record prior to the shootout, WJXT reported.
The identity of the wounded hero has not been released.
The officers involved in the incident have all been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, as per protocol.
The incident marked the third time this year that a JSO officer has been shot in the line of duty, WJXT reported.
“This shows what police work is. Police officers are not expendable. They’re human beings doing their job to keep people safe,” Sheriff 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.”
The officer who was shot on Tuesday graduated from the same JSO academy class as JSO Officer Malik Daricaud, WJXT reported.
Officer Daricaud was shot in the line of duty in March while conducting a follow-up investigation stemming from a traffic stop.
“That is something that I’ve never seen in the 32 years that I’ve been working here,” Sheriff Waters told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s getting very ridiculous, very dangerous, and it’s concerning.”
Jso officer apparently shot at baptist south tonight. Life flight to UF health. Shooter supposedly deceased. At least 50 cop cars at the hospital all the way from southside. pic.twitter.com/7xH2xXdw1a
— Jesse Mota (@JesseMotaJr) April 19, 2023
#JSO is on scene of an officer involved shooting outside of Baptist Hospital South. An officer has been shot & is in stable condition; next of kin has been notified. The hospital is on lockdown. The incident was not an active shooter and there is no danger to the community. pic.twitter.com/XDzMYEsiqS
— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) April 19, 2023
🚨 OFFICER DOWN: Please pray for the officer who is in critical condition after being shot outside Baptist Medical Center South. The shooter is dead.
The violence against the men and women of law enforcement is an attack on the foundation of our communities and a stain on… pic.twitter.com/K8gDOujrnA
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) April 19, 2023
There was an incident outside of #BaptistSouth late this evening. Security noticed a suspicious person outside the hospital and notified the campus off-duty police officer. The officer called @JSOPIO for additional support. Baptist South went on lockdown for the safety… (1/2)
— Baptist Health (@BaptistHealthJx) April 19, 2023
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