A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (FL) officer remains in critical condition after being shot in the face Tuesday night in the parking lot of an area hospital. Five officers returned fire and the gunman died at the scene.
Sheriff T.K. Waters tells FOX30 the officer is improving after being treated for injuries to his chin and neck.
In a press conference, Waters explained how an off-duty officer who works at Baptist Health South noticed a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot, attempted to stop the vehicle using his patrol car, but the car fled.
Other officers responded and attempted to stop the car. One officer ordered the driver to stop the car and reported the man held what appeared to be a gun out the window and said, “shoot me.” Later, the subject fired a shot into a patrol car.
After a failed PIT maneuver, the subject got behind a police car and rammed it before also striking a second patrol car. When the subject’s car came to a stop, the driver refused to exit the vehicle.
“At that point, one of the officers approached the right rear door of that vehicle. As he reached to open that door, the subject fired a shot through the window striking the officer in the face. That bullet struck the officer in his face and went down toward his chest area,” explained Waters during the press conference.”
Officers returned fire, striking the subject several times.
“We want to make sure that our officers, and our citizens, know that they did the right thing tonight. They made sure that that individual did not go into that hospital where who knows what could have happened. We've all seen around the country some of the things that have happened in these types of situations,” Waters said.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave and the sheriff said the state attorney’s office will conduct an investigation.