Hit-and-run suspect shot by officer on Wonderwood Bridge

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office details what happened when a man was shot on the Wonderwood Bridge by police officers on Friday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A suspect, identified as being "mentally ill" by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, is in intensive care following an officer-involved shooting on the Wonderwood Bridge near Mayport Friday night.

JSO said it first received two calls about a hit and run incident around 4:41 p.m. in the 12000 block of Nesting Eagles Way. About a minute later, JSO received a third phone call, but in reference to a "mentally ill" individual posing a threat to a relative in the 13000 block of Blue Eagle Way.

As officers were responding to the calls, they received another call at 4:47 p.m. about a reckless vehicle on the Wonderwood Bridge. The vehicle had a similar description to the vehicles described in the first three phone calls, police said.

Four officers and two sergeants arrived at the Wonderwood Bridge and saw a gray Ford Explorer had rear ended into a red SUV. The driver, identified as Steven Smith, 32, was stuck in the vehicle and civilians were trying to help him.

Officers ordered the civilians back and approached Smith. They said Smith was alert, but not responsive.

After a few minutes of talking around 5:14 p.m., Smith got out of the vehicle and he was armed with a 9mm handgun, JSO said. According to authorities, Smith began approaching the officers and civilians.

Sgt. Andrew Will, a 9-year veteran, shot Smith two times, once in the chest and once in the arm. No officers were injured during the incident, JSO said.

Smith was transported to the hospital, where he underwent surgery and is now recovering. Smith is expected to survive. 

It was later revealed that Smith possessed a concealed weapons permit but it had been suspended, according to JSO.

In a press conference on Saturday morning, JSO said that Smith had served in the military and has dealt with mental health issues in the past. He was previously arrested in Sept. on a misdemeanor charge relating to domestic violence with his wife.

It was documented by JSO that Smith had attempted to kill himself while in jail for the domestic violence charge.

Smith's wife told JSO that her husband had been displaying a more confrontational behavior leading up to Friday. Prior to the incident, the wife had barricaded herself in the bedroom of their home, according to JSO.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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