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Manhunt Underway For Florida Gunman Who Shot Officer In Head

Daytona Beach, FL – A multi-agency manhunt is underway for the gunman accused of shooting a Daytona Beach police officer in the head on Wednesday night.

The Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) released an emergency alert identifying the suspect as 29-year-old Othal Wallace.

Wallace was last seen in a 2016 Honda HRV bearing California tag 7TNX532, according to police.

“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood warned in a tweet on Wednesday night.

Daytona Beach police are officering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Wallace’s arrest, according to the emergency alert.

The attack occurred at 133 Kingston Avenue just before 9 p.m. when the unidentified officer responded to a report of a suspicious incident at that location, the DBPD said in the emergency alert.

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.

He was rushed to Halifax Health Medical Center and taken into surgery, the DBPD reported.

The officer “remains in critical condition,” his department said.

The police department released a portion of the wounded officer’s bodycam footage shortly after the shooting.

Bodycam footage showed the officer as he approached Wallace’s parked car and greeted him.

“How’s it going?” he asked Wallace. “Do you live here?”

Wallace immediately got out of the vehicle, ignoring the officer’s requests that he stay seated.

“Sir, come on now. Don’t do this,” the suspect warned him. “Why you asking me do I live here? What’s going on though?”

Wallace told the officer to “back up” and appeared to try to push him away, leading to a brief scuffle.

A gunshot rang out a moment later, and the officer immediately collapsed to the ground, the video showed.

“At some point, the suspect turns and shoots my officer one time in the head,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young told reporters during a late-night press conference on Wednesday, according to FOX News.

Chief Young described the officer’s condition as “grave” and called the gunman a “coward.”

“This cop is 26 years old… fighting for his life,” the chief said, according to WOFL. “Most of us are just starting to live at 26 years old. We are completely heartbroken by what took place.”

Chief Young tweeted an update Thursday morning, saying there had been no change in the officer’s condition.

“He’s fighting while all of us are praying,” he wrote. “The manhunt continues for the coward responsible for this.”

The young officer’s mother is by his side at the hospital, WOFL reported.

The police chief said Volusia County has been placed on lockdown status while the manhunt continues.

More than 500 law enforcement officers flooded to the area to search for Wallace, FOX News reported.

Sections of Interstates 95 and 4 were also shut down in an effort to locate the fleeing suspect, but he remained on the loose as ofThursday morning.

Chief Young praised the officers of his department for their devotion to finding Wallace, and noted there was not a single officer who called in sick as the manhunt ensued on Thursday morning, WOFL reported.

“Even though we are hurt, even though we are heartbroken, if you need us, we will be there,” he said.

Investigators found multiple firearms, ammunition magazines, boxes of ammunition and at least three ballistic vests when they searched Wallace’s apartment, Chief Young told WOFL.

The alleged shooter has racked up at least six felony cases in the past – one in Brevard County and five in Volusia County, according to WOFL.

This is a developing story and we will keep you updated. For all of our updates, follow us on Facebook and go to your news feed preferences under your settings, then select that you want to see more of The Police Tribune’s posts in your news feed. Otherwise, Facebook may not show you updates.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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