DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WESH) — A Florida Blue Alert has been issued after officials say a 26-year-old police officer was wounded in a shooting Wednesday night in Daytona Beach.
Officials say the officer was approaching a suspicious vehicle on Kingston Avenue when the officer was shot in the head by the suspect, who then took off.
The officer was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center. Officials say the officer, who has been with the Daytona Beach Police Department for three years, is out of surgery and in critical condition, though has shown some improvement.
“This officer is 26 years old. Twenty-six years old. Behind me (in the hospital). Fighting for his life. Most of us are just starting to live at 26 years old,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said. “This particular cop, knowing him, if he were to pull through this, this cop would do everything in his power to get back on the job and continue serving the community. He would do so with zero hatred or malice in his heart.”
Inside the complex where the shooting happened, authorities found three ballistic vests, multiple high capacity magazines, a firearm, a rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and boxes of rifle rounds.
The Daytona Beach Police Department says the suspect is believed to be 29-year-old Othal Wallace.
Police say Wallace may be in a gray 2016 Honda HRV with a California license plate 7TNX532.
A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Authorities said Wallace is believed to be armed and dangerous.
Sections of I-95 and I-4 were shut down Wednesday evening due to the search for the suspect but has since been reopened, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A lockdown in Volusia County has been expanded.