Tallahassee officer shoots and kills suspect following hostage situation
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — A Tallahassee police officer shot and killed an armed man following a hostage situation late Thursday, according to the Tallahassee Police Department.
Investigators say the shooting happened at an apartment near the 100 block of Valencia Drive. TPD Chief Lawrence Revell said during a press conference that none of the hostages were hurt in this incident.
“Our officers day in and day out, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, stand in the gap and protect this community each and every single day, and they do an outstanding job with that,” Revell says. “Unfortunately, there are circumstances and people make choices which force officers to make really tough, split-second decisions. Any loss of life is a loss for our entire community.”
Officers arrived there tracking down a vehicle that had fled from police a short time before. An officer on patrol noticed the vehicle parked in a parking lot in the 800 block of Ocala Road and stopped to investigate. Two men and a woman were in the car, along with a child. The driver stepped out of the vehicle to talk with the officer.
At that time, police say the other man in the car moved to the driver’s seat and quickly fled the scene with the woman and child. The car hit and injured a second officer who had arrived at the scene to assist, according to TPD.
When police tracked down the car, they found it abandoned on Valencia Drive. That’s when someone ran from a nearby home saying someone was inside holding hostages, TPD says.
As officers surrounded the home and prepared to go inside, a man with a weapon jumped from a second story window. Investigators say the suspect raised his weapon at the officer. The officer shot and killed the suspect, according to TPD.
Investigators say the man was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police are not yet releasing the suspect’s name.
Police say the woman and child who were in the car were both found in the home, unharmed.
Chief Revell says body cam footage of this officer-involved shooting, from both the first stop and the shooting itself, will be released publicly once it has been redacted.
“We will do that sooner rather than later,” Revell says. “I would simply ask our community to wait and see the evidence and weigh that evidence based on what it is.”
Per typical TPD procedures, the officer who shot the suspect has been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues.
Residents living at the Valencia Square apartments spoke with WCTV about what they saw.
Maurice Kirksey and Jaquetta Byron live two doors down from the apartment where the shooting occured.
Kirksey was home, waiting for Byron, when he heard an SUV peel into the parking lot. He says he then heard a young girl screaming.
“She had to be running away from somebody, but I couldn’t see the person she was running from. But I knew it had to be somebody because of the way she was screaming and trying to run, “said Kirksey. :The first thing that came to my mind, I know how children is. It could be a bad child, a child just trying to not listen to their parents. But then again, the way she screamed, you could tell she was frightened.”
Soon after, Byron arrived home. When a man told police there was a hostage situation, they saw an aggressive manhunt for the driver.
“Like a minute or two after that, I heard a big crash, BOOM. Following that, two or three gunshots,” said Kirksey. “After that my girlfriend and I were like let’s go look in the back see through our back window. Come to find out, soon as we come to the back window, we see everything. The dude on the floor, everything.”
Byron said they were shocked at what they saw.
“From our back window right there, you could see the guy that got shot. You could see him laying on his back, blood everywhere. You could see officers trying to get him back, trying to see if he was responsive,” she said.
The two tell WCTV the apartment complex is a nice place to live, and nothing like that has happened before.
“It’s just crazy. It’s very much, nervewracking. Two doors down, to be so close. It’s traumatizing,” they said.
TPD says this is an open and active investigation.
This is a developing story.
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