Sherriff’s office: Officer wounded in shooting outside Florida hospital. Suspect dead on scene

A shootout in the parking lot of a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida resulted in an injured officer and a dead suspect, the local sheriff's office said.

A Florida police officer is in critical condition Wednesday after being shot while attempting to apprehend a suspect at a local hospital, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced.

The suspect fired at and rammed law enforcement vehicles in the parking lot of Baptist Medical Center South around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, only to be killed after police returned fire, according to Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters. 

“This is our fifth officer-involved shooting this year. Our third officer this year has been shot. Now that is something that I have never seen in the 32 years I have been working here,” Waters told reporters early Wednesday morning. 

“It’s getting very ridiculous, it’s very dangerous,” Waters added. “It’s concerning, and we want to make sure that our officers and our citizens know that they did the right thing tonight, they made sure that the individual did not go into the hospital where, who knows what could have happened. We have all seen all around the country some of the things that have happened in these types of situations.” 

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA POLICE OFFICER SHOT IN THE FACE BY BURGLARY SUSPECT 

Jacksonville Sheriff TK Waters speaks to media

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters, middle left, said multiple officers returned fire at the suspect, killing him at the scene. (Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)

Waters says an officer working off-duty at the hospital had first noticed a vehicle traveling through its parking lot in a suspicious manner. 

When that officer attempted to stop the car, the driver sped off, the sheriff said. 

Responding officers then arrived to set up positions, and one officer, who was outside his vehicle, spotted the approaching suspect, raised his hands and said several times to “stop the car,” according to Waters. 

“The subject inside the car rolled the window down slightly, held out a gun or what looked like a gun and said ‘shoot me,’” Waters said. “That officer did not shoot him.” 

Waters said the suspect then drove up to a police car and fired one shot into it – sparking a larger police pursuit in the parking lot that included a failed attempt to use a pit maneuver to disable the suspect’s vehicle. 

FLORIDA SUSPECT KILLED IN SHOOTING WAS ‘WAITING’ FOR DEPUTIES BEFORE OPENING FIRE, WOUNDING OFFICER, POLICE SAY 

Jacksonville police officer shot in hospital parking lot

The shooting happened Tuesday, April 18 in the parking lot of the Baptist Medical Center South hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. (Google Maps)

The suspect eventually rammed the police car he previously shot at, as well as another police vehicle head-on, before coming to a halt after crashing into a pole, Waters said. 

The driver then refused verbal commands to exit his vehicle, and when an officer reached to open the rear passenger door, he fired through the window, striking the officer in the face, according to Waters. 

Five other officers that had surrounded the suspect then returned “a lot” of fire, striking the suspect numerous times and killing him at the scene, he said. 

Those officers have since been placed on administrative leave while a state attorney is investigating the shooting. 

Jacksonville Sheriffs Office badge

The Jacksonville Sheriffs Office says the shooting was the third time one of its officers was shot at this year. (Jacksonville Sheriffs Office)

The suspect was not publicly identified, but Waters described him as appearing fairly young and only having a speeding ticket in his criminal history. The motivation for the alleged behavior is unknown. 

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The wounded officer, Waters said, is in critical but stable condition Wednesday. 

Baptist Medical Center South said in a tweet that all its patients are safe and that it went into a temporary lockdown during the incident. 

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