Daytona Beach, FL – Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) Officer Jason Raynor died in the line of duty on Tuesday night after being shot in the head while responding to a suspicious activity call nearly two months ago.
The DBPD released a statement confirming Officer Raynor, 26, succumbed to his wounds at Halifax Health Medical Center at 8:09 p.m. on Aug. 17 while surrounded by his family.
“Today is an extremely difficult day for the Daytona Beach Police Department and the City of Daytona Beach,” DBPD Chief Jakari Young said in a statement. “The outpouring of love and support that all of you have shown to our police department and to Officer Raynor’s family since he was severely injured has been nothing short of amazing.”
Chief Young asked for continued support for the department and Officer Raynor’s family.
“God decided that it was time for this courageous young man to guard the gates of Heaven, even though that wasn’t the outcome that we all hoped for,” he wrote. “Now more than ever, we ask for all of you to embrace the Raynor family and the Daytona Beach Police Department in your hearts during this devastating time and pray that God will give us all the strength to persevere through this senseless tragedy.”
“Jason’s sacrifice will NEVER be forgotten,” Chief Young vowed.
Othal Wallace, 29, shot Officer Raynor in the head just before 9 p.m. on June 23 when the officer responded to a report of a suspicious incident at 133 Kingston Avenue, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
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.
They rushed Officer Raynor to Halifax Health Medical Center and he was immediately taken into surgery.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that 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 at the time. “This poor kid [the officer] just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
After a large-scale manhunt that expanded into multiple states, the gunman was found on property belonging to a black paramilitary group in Georgia and taken into custody.
“Othal Wallace was located hiding in a tree house,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young told reporters at a press conference at 5 a.m. on June 26. “In the tree house with Wallace was multiple flash bangs, rifle plates, body armor, two rifles, two handguns, and several boxes of ammunition.”
Chief Young said the tree house where Wallace was located was on a three-acre property that belonged to the Not F—king Around Coalition (NFAC), a black nationalist paramilitary organization, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.
Officer Raynor remained hospitalized, fighting for his life, for nearly two months before he succumbed to his wounds.
Chief Young has 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.
A fundraising page established to help Officer Raynor’s family has raised over $378,000 so far.
.#breaking. @DaytonaBchPD officer Jason Raynor has died after being shot in the head in the line of duty nearly 2 months ago. Heartbroken colleagues at hospital to escort the officer’s body pic.twitter.com/8wfxqaFd8p
— claire metz (@clairemetzwesh) August 18, 2021
The passing of Officer Jason Raynor pic.twitter.com/UAXTdepjSF
— Chief Jakari Young (@ChiefJakari) August 18, 2021
With his family’s blessing, we regret to inform you that Jason Raynor – the Daytona Beach Police Department officer who was shot nearly two months ago – has succumbed to his injury.
— Daytona Beach Police (@DaytonaBchPD) August 18, 2021
Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office stand with the residents of the State of Florida as we mourn the loss of Officer Jason Raynor from the Daytona Beach Police Department. Officer Raynor died from his injuries stemming from the June 23 shooting. pic.twitter.com/6ASTXV33pv
— Osceola County Sheriff's Office (@OsceolaSheriff) August 18, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Daytona Beach Police Department Officer Jason Raynor, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Jason Raynor, your life mattered.