Daytona Beach, FL – A man carrying an AK-47 around town shot a Daytona Beach police officer on Sunday night, and police have said it was not the first time he has shot at them.
Raymond Roberts, 40, is a convicted felon who should not be in a possession of a gun, WKMG reported.
On Sunday night, numerous citizens called 911 to report that Roberts was walking around Daytona Beach with a large rifle.
“We just heard several gunshots and I seen someone walk down the road with a gun,” one woman told the 911 operator, according to WKMG.
Police officers responded and confronted Roberts. And he shot at them.
“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.
One of the responding officers was struck by gunfire.
“Two of my officers returned fire on the suspect and did not hit him,” Chief Capri said. “Unfortunately, one of my officers was hit in the arm. Thank God, he’s going to be OK.”
Good Samaritans rushed to help Daytona Beach Police Officer Kevin Hird and applied pressure to the gunshot wound he’d received to his upper arm, the chief told WKMG.
Officer Hird was transported to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach where he underwent surgery to repair a shattered bone.
Chief Capri told WKMG that the wounded officer was in good spirits and expected to recover from his wounds.
The suspect fled on foot after he shot Officer Hird, but he was captured just blocks away by police.
“He is a convicted felon. A street maggot that’s out here committing crime and shooting randomly, especially at police officers,” Chief Capri told reporters. “Thank God no citizens were hit.”
Roberts has been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm against a police officer, and three counts of attempted murder against law enforcement, according to WKMG.
He also violated his probation when he committed the crimes.
The chief said he didn’t think Roberts would be out of jail again in the near future.
“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,” Chief Capri said.
He said Roberts was arrogant about the shooting when he was interviewed afterwards by detectives.
Investigators said Roberts has twice previously pulled guns on law enforcement officers in the past year.
The arrest report said he told authorities that he planned to shoot people who “triple-crossed him” on the night he shot Officer Hird, WKMG reported.
Roberts told arresting officers that he had had enough “mentally, physically and spiritually” before he started shooting, police officials said.
“I don’t mind being punished, I did wrong,” he told police.