JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was a citywide drug bust operation that led police to an altercation where a suspect was killed and a 24 year veteran officer was seriously hurt Thursday night, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday.
Friday, police also identified the suspect who died, Victor Emanuel Larosa, 23. Larosa has a long history of drug convictions and was on probation for sale of cocaine.
Sometime after 6 p.m Thursday., undercover officers waved down a drug suspect to buy $60 worth of crack cocaine, JSO Director Mike Bruno said.
Afterward, the suspect got in the undercover car and took officers to the Mayfair Village Apartments to buy the drugs. After telling the undercover officers the narcotics he had would not be worth purchasing, the suspect retrieved drugs from Larosa, who was driving car reported stolen earlier in the day, according to the sheriff's office.
That's when police gave the "take down" signal and police pulled up to arrest the suspects, Bruno said. Larosa tried to back out and rammed a police car parked behind him. Then he accelerated toward Sgt. D.R. White standing on the sidewalk, knocking him into the air, before driving away, according to police. White landed on his head and police thought he was dead at the scene, Bruno said.
White, a 24 year veteran of the sheriff's office, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. UF Health told First Coast News the officer is recovering in fair condition.
Afterward, the driver crashed into five cars parked at the complex before eventually slamming into the outside stairwell of the apartment building, Bruno said.
"We had an attempted murder of a police officer," Bruno said Friday afternoon.
A sprawling chase ensued in which Larosa was shot near Lamee Avenue and Drexel Street.
Bruno said eventually Larosa got out of the car and started running down Beach Boulevard and then down Lamee Avenue. At some point, the suspect hopped a fence with several officers trailing behind.
As he was standing up, the suspect "twisted and turned" to face police and reached for his waistband, Bruno said. Detective M.A. Bouree, who was in "fear for his life," then fired eight rounds at the suspect, killing him, according to police. Five shots hit Larosa in the upper torso, Bruno said. He died at the scene.
Bouree has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is Sheriff's Office policy. Bouree is a 9 year veteran of the Sheriff's Office and has spent one year in the narcotics division, according to Bruno. Bouree had been involve in one prior shooting in 2008 when he fired but missed, Bruno said.
The shooting marks at least the seventh police-involved shooting reported this year.
Asked whether a gun was found in the dead suspect's waistband or near his body, Bruno said the investigation is still pending but to his knowledge, Larosa was not armed when he was shot and killed.
Friday afternoon, police were at Larosa's home on Drexel Avenue, searching for evidence.
There is another suspect police are still looking for. The suspect is around 5'9 and has short dreads, Bruno said.
Rickey McAfee, a resident of the apartment complex, is the owner of one of the damaged vehicles. His Lincoln Town Car sustained extensive damage to the rear and driver's side.
"The gas tank and all that is bent. The frame is bent. It's lost," he said.
McAfee said it's the second time in six months he's lost his car to crime.
"The first time they couldn't find the guy and even though I had insurance, nothing could be done so I lost. Now this is happening," he said.
Police had made six arrests in Operation Bind Bust prior to the shooting, Bruno said.