Breaking News
More () »

Family of man killed by JSO calls shooting 'unjustified'

Leon Burroughs' family said officers didn't communicate with the 39-year-old before he was killed.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The family of the man shot and killed by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office last week says the shooting was 'unjustified.'

Officers killed 39-year-old Leon Burroughs at his grandmother's house on Hardee Street Friday night. His family says police also knocked over a fence and hit a truck in the driveway with bullets. 

"I was helpless," said Leon's mother Alisa Hill. "I couldn't help my son at all, and that's what I would tell him: 'I'm so sorry I couldn't help you.'" 

Sheriff T.K. Waters said officers were looking into a burglary when they came across Burroughs sleeping in a car outside his grandmother's house.

Waters said they tracked items stolen in the burglary to the location.

Meanwhile, Burroughs' family was inside the home.

"They was everywhere, so I'm thinking, 'Okay, maybe they're looking for somebody wandering around,'" Hill said. "He never indicated it was a crime that happened. He never indicated he was investigating a crime. He never told us anything. They surrounded that car, and within 10 minutes, my son was dead."

Burroughs' family said he asked officers to get the lights out of his face.

Waters said Burroughs wouldn't get out of the car and then shot at officers, grazing one in the face. That's when Waters said his officers shot back. Now the shooting is under investigation. 

Hill said she'll be waiting on the results of JSO's investigation.

"I think our police officers need to do a better job of communicating if you're innocent until proven guilty," Hill said. "If you didn't come here to investigate, what you came for?"

First Coast News has requested body camera footage from that night. JSO said it will be available sometime between now and the next three weeks.

Before You Leave, Check This Out