Indian River County, FL – Authorities released bodycam video on Tuesday of the deputy-involved shooting of an armed felon who fled a traffic stop (video below).
The incident occurred just after 9 p.m. on June 11 when Indian River County sheriff’s deputies stopped a vehicle they suspected was involved in a “shots fired” call that happened hours earlier, WPTV reported.
Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said the vehicle was also suspected of having been involved in some burglaries that included the theft of firearms.
Sheriff Flowers said that when deputies approached the vehicle, they could see that there was a gun in the back seat, WPTV reported.
Deputies ordered the people in the vehicle to put their hands in the air out the car windows, and then opened the back passenger door to remove the man who was nearest to the firearm, bodycam video showed.
Sheriff Flowers said that when deputies opened the door to get 19-year-old Jamall Frederick out of the vehicle, he grabbed the gun and jumped out of the car.
Bodycam video showed Frederick had the pistol in his left hand then switched it to his right hand.
Then, as he fled into a dark field, video showed that the suspect turned back toward the deputies with the gun in his hand.
That was when deputies opened fire on Frederick, the bodycam video showed.
“Shots are fired as he’s running away. There’s no doubt about that,” Sheriff Flowers told reporters on June 14.
“What you have to understand though is they know that this guy is a known burglar,” the sheriff continued. “They know that this guy has just aggressively armed himself when he was told, ‘Do not touch this gun.'”
Flower dropped to the ground after the deputies fired at him, WPTV reported.
Deputies approached the downed suspect and ordered him to put his hands up.
But Sheriff Flowers said Frederick ignored deputies’ commands, pointed his gun at them, and then fled into a dark neighborhood behind him, WPTV reported.
The video showed deputies opened fire on the fleeing suspect.
Authorities briefly lost track of Frederick but quickly brought in a K9 unit to track him down.
He was found hiding in the enclosed porch of a home in the nearby neighborhood, WPTV reported.
Deputies took him into custody and immediately began rendering First Aid while they waited for the ambulance to arrive, the sheriff told reporters.
Frederick was transported to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in stable condition, WPTV reported.
Sheriff Flowers said that Frederick is a convicted felon who was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.
“We are in the beginning stages of an active, ongoing investigation,” he told reporters. “All of this, this entire incident, could have been avoided had Jamall Frederick listened to the deputies, their instructions not to touch the gun. The second he armed himself, he changed the scenario.”
The sheriff said he wasn’t second-guessing his deputies at this point in the investigation, WPTV reported.
“In this video, do you see him pointing the gun? No, there’s nothing in the video that we’re going to release that shows him pointing the gun. I don’t know what the deputies saw,” Sheriff Flowers explained.
“These deputies are out there making split-second decisions during a traffic stop on the side of the road at night when others are in the comforts of their own home,” he said. “They make these decisions based on information they know at the time.”
The sheriff said deputies recovered the gun that Frederick had in his possession as well as another weapon that was found in the suspect vehicle, WPTV reported.
Investigators determined that both of the firearms had been reported stolen in recent auto and residential burglaries.
“Our team was out there doing their job, monitoring these criminals, and they encountered a guy, who refused to listen to their commands, chose to arm himself, and he was ultimately shot,” Sheriff Flowers said.
Deputies also arrested 18-year-old Zbryius Jones, a passenger in the suspect vehicle, on a probation violation WPTV reported.
The other two suspects in the vehicle were released without charges but the sheriff said they remained under investigation.
“These guys are county-wide criminals,” Flowers said. “We will not tolerate these known felons endangering our community.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: