Daytona Beach, FL – The search continues for the armed and dangerous fugitive who shot 26-year-old Daytona Beach Police Officer Jason Raynor in the head on Wednesday night, and there are indications the gunman had links to black militias and other extremist groups.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young identified the wounded officer on Thursday and said that Officer Raynor remained in critical condition, WFTV reported.
Chief Young said the wounded hero was continuing to fight for his life with his loved ones by his side at Halifax Health.
“I’m hopeful and I’m keeping the faith that he’s going to pull through. But this was a senseless tragedy. This guy’s heartless. I mean, his heart is pure malice. He could care less. He did that with zero remorse,” Chief Young said.
Officer Raynor’s condition remained unchanged as of Friday morning, WFTV reported.
Police identified the suspect as 29-year-old Othal Wallace and released a portion of the officer’s bodycam video that showed what happened when he was shot.
THREAD (1 OF 2): A $100,000 reward is now available for anyone who can help authorities locate the man who shot one of our officers in the head earlier this evening.
The man we're looking for is located in the video below. His name is Othal Wallace. He's 29 years old. pic.twitter.com/hYHNqVLg8C
— Daytona Beach Police (@DaytonaBchPD) June 24, 2021
The Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) said the attack occurred just before 9 p.m. on June 23 when Officer Raynor responded to a report of a suspicious incident at 133 Kingston Avenue.
The officer checked out at the scene over his radio, but stopped responding to other units shortly thereafter, WJAX reported.
Additional officers raced to the scene and found the officer lying on the pavement with a gunshot wound to his head.
DBPD said Officer Raynor was rushed to Halifax Health Medical Center and taken into surgery.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Wallace was likely going to try to kill any law enforcement officer he encountered, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
“I think this was going to happen. In my opinion any cop that stopped him was going to get it, he was going to try to kill,” Sheriff Chitwood told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. “This poor kid [the officer] just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The sheriff said that investigators believed they had identified Wallace’s Facebook page under the name “O-Zone Wallace,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
The page showed Wallace had connections with the NFAC Black Militia, the New Black Panther Party, and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club Alabama Chapter.
Black Militia NFAC member Othal Wallace shot a police officer in the head. pic.twitter.com/jguuqhrc9E
— Z La Luna (@LauraLaLuna1) June 24, 2021
News2Share Founder Ford Fischer posted that he had filmed Wallace marching with the black militia in Louisville in 2020.
A manhunt is taking place in Daytona Beach after police say Othal “O-Zone” Wallace shot a cop, leaving them in critical condition.
I filmed Wallace march with the Black Nationalist NFAC Militia September 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) June 24, 2021
“We know that there are black militias just like white militias. There’s no difference, extremism is extremism, black, white, brown, yellow,” Sheriff Chitwood said.
Court records showed Wallace’s criminal history included incidences of domestic violence, including a case in which he was accused of having used a gun to threaten a woman, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
Online records showed he served time in the Volusia County jail but has never been to prison in Florida.
Records showed that Wallace was accused of using a gun in one other case, but most of his charges were domestic violence related, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
He was twice ordered to go to anger management classes.
Police said Wallace was last seen in a 2016 Honda HRV bearing California tag 7TNX532.
The U.S. Marshals Service joined the multi-state search for Wallace on Friday, WJXT reported.
Police in the metro Atlanta area have been warned to keep a lookout because Wallace’s vehicle last pinged near Stockbridge, Georgia.
He is considered armed and dangerous, WJXT reported.
DBPD is offering a $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of the fugitive who shot Officer Raynor.
#BREAKING A Blue Alert has been issued for Othal Wallace, suspected of shooting a Daytona Beach PD officer. He may be traveling in a 2016, gray Honda HR-V, CA tag number 7TNX532. If you have information, contact the Daytona Beach PD at (386) 671-5428 or 911. $100,000 reward. pic.twitter.com/aBbNdb64R7
— WINK News (@winknews) June 24, 2021
Chief Young described Officer Raynor as having a “heart of gold,” WFTV reported.
He said the officer first joined Daytona Beach police in 2015, but then left to join the Port Orange Police Department in October of 2016.
Officer Raynor returned to DBPD in February of 2019, WFTV reported.
Port Orange police posted a message to Facebook following the shooting that called the wounded hero “an exemplary officer” who had maintained friendships with many of the department’s officers and staff.
“While employed with The Port Orange Police Department, Officer Raynor received an award of achievement on December 5, 2018 where he and two other officers were able to successfully rescue a female who was attempting to jump off of the Dunlawton Bridge,” the post read.
Officer Raynor is not married and does not have any children, WFTV reported.
Chief Young said the officer’s mother and sister were with him at the hospital.
A GoFundMe has been launched to assist with Officer’s Raynor’s expenses.