Traffic stop, ‘agitated’ passenger leads to deadly Jacksonville police shooting

Dan Scanlan, Florida Times-Union

A Tuesday-night traffic stop on a Westside Jacksonville street ended with an officer-involved shooting that left an 18-year-old dead, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Four officers were involved in the confrontation at about 10:40 p.m. that began when police pulled over a vehicle with three men inside it in the 5000 block of San Juan Avenue, Chief T.K. Waters said. The front-seat passenger was “very agitated” during the stop, and as officers tried to calm things down the situation escalated, he said.

“After several minutes of discussion with that subject, the officers ended up firing their service weapons and striking the suspect,” Waters said.  “… A handgun was located in the passenger seat area where the suspect was located.”

The Sheriff’s Office identified 18-year-old Devon Tillman Gregory as the suspect. Family telling WJXT TV-4 he worked at a nearby McDonald’s and was with his cousins.

Police released an image of the Taurus handgun they said was found in the car and that Gregory possessed.

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The incident marks the 14th officer-involved shooting by Jacksonville police this year, according to Times-Union records. Of those, nine were fatal. It is the most since 2009, when 15 people were shot by police, leaving nine dead. And in 2019, nine were shot, leading to six deaths. 

The last officer-involved shooting was less than two weeks ago when 34-year-old Justin Darryel Reed was killed outside his East 63rd Street home after confronting detectives in a small Chevrolet SUV parked in front, police said.

In the most recent incident, all four officers fired their guns in Tuesday-night’s traffic stop, Waters said. It was the first officer-involved shooting for each of them, identified as three-year veteran Officers B.M. Shea and N.C. McDonald, 10-year-veteran Officer A.J. Roe and Officer J.D. Mills with 25 years on the force. 

All four officers were identified as members of a Zone 4 Task Force in the incident report. They also were wearing bodycams.

Police do not know yet what might have caused Gregory ‘s agitation, Waters said. No other injuries were reported, and the chief did not specify what traffic violation the suspects were being pulled over for.

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Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549