Suspect shot by JSO officer identified

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police identified the suspect who was shot and killed by a JSO officer Wednesday night as 28-year-old Thomas Dewitt Johnson.

Johnson was involved in a shooting at Grande Court Apartments on Blanding Boulevard around 6:21 p.m., according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Chief Adam Brown said Thompson shot a man during a dispute inside the Grande Court Apartments on Blanding Boulevard around 6:21 p.m., before driving away from the scene.

Brown says Officer James Busque was heading into the apartment complex to investigate that shooting when he saw Thompson driving out of the complex and heading north on Blanding.

Less than 10 minutes later, after a wild car chase, Johnson was dead.

Busque followed the car and tried to pull Thompson over at the intersection of Blanding and 103rd Street, but Brown says Thompson didn't stop. Instead, Brown says he sped away from the officer and 'played chicken' with oncoming cars.

Fearing that drivers were in danger, Busque performed what Brown called a 'pit maneuver', where officers tactically ram a vehicle in an attempt to end a high speed chase, to stop the vehicle near London Bridge Lane.

Thompson stopped the car, got out holding a gun and ran off, Brown says.

When Officer Busque ordered him to stop, Brown says Thompson turned with his gun raised and Busque fired four shots. Two of the bullets struck Thompson and he died at the scene at 6:29 p.m.

Brown says that Busque has been with JSO for four years and it was his first officer-involved shooting.

Brown says Busque handled himself properly and courageously during the incident, and says a citizen witnessed the shooting and confirmed Busque's account of the situation.


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