JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A gunman who shot a Florida police officer in an ambush died Sunday night after deciding to jump off a bridge during his escape, according to investigators.
NBC affiliate WTLV reported that two Jacksonville officers were responding to a burglary at around 10 p.m. when someone began shooting at them, hitting one of the officers in the back.
Brian Kee, chief of investigations for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, said the bullet ended up striking the officer’s bulletproof vest.
The officer then fired back at the suspect. later identified as 37-year-old Charlie Brown.
“We still don’t know if that suspect was hit by the gunfire,” Kee said Monday morning, although he mentioned that a car used by the suspect to escape the officers had blood inside it.
After stealing said vehicle, Brown fired his gun again at the two officers, according to the sheriff’s office.
Kee said the suspect then crashed the stolen vehicle into the interior barrier wall on the Dames Point Bridge. Officers saw Brown get out of the car and jump off the bridge into the St. Johns River.
According to Kee, Brown was seen swimming for a short time until he slipped beneath the surface. His body was found with a gun at 3 a.m.
The chief of investigations said the two officers were placed under administrative leave. The officer who was shot was treated at a hospital for severe bruising and released.
“The vest did its job, but it’s still a pretty painful injury,” Kee said.
The State Attorney’s Office has taken charge of the investigation.