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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says sheriff’s deputy is justified in using deadly force

(WPTA)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has found that a sheriff’s deputy who used deadly force was justified.

All of this comes after an incident that happened with 49-year-old James Allen Jackson on Sept. 24, 2021.

The department’s review found that Jackson, after shooting a different deputy, barricaded himself in a home with a revolver. After several hours of communication, SWAT team members entered the home and tried to arrest him. During this, Jackson allegedly drew his revolver and, in response, a sheriff’s deputy fired his weapon twice. According to a report, that deputy did it “in fear for his life and the lives of the other deputies present inside the residence.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement went through a thorough investigation, which included:

  • Responding to the scene after the shooting
  • Reviewing interviews from witnesses
  • Reviewing interviews from law enforcement officers
  • Examining physical evidence
  • Reviewing video evidence
  • Reviewing photo evidence
  • Reviewing 911 calls, radio communications, and relevant audio
  • Applying applicable laws

The name of the officer who was involved is being withheld due to Marsy’s Law. The report stated:

“After our thorough analysis, we have determined that the facts and evidence of this incident prove that the law enforcement officer reasonably believed he was in fear of imminent death or great bodily harm when he used deadly force. He also did not have a duty to retreat. These findings satisfy Florida Statutes 776.012 and 776.05 and, therefore, under Florida law, the use of deadly force is justified. Accordingly, there is no legal basis for criminal charges against the deputy.”

Full Timeline of Events

A thorough investigation found that on Sept. 24 around 9:30 a.m., a relative of Jackson called 911 to report that Jackson had battered the relative inside the home in Brandon. The caller told the dispatcher that there were no weapons involved, but Jackson did own a firearm.

When deputies arrived on scene, they found Jackson locked inside of his bedroom. The relative asked Jackson to come out, but he refused and allegedly fired a shot through the door, hitting one of the deputies. That was when deputies removed everyone from the house and Jackson barricaded himself in.

After numerous attempts to communicate with Jackson, and deploying multiple chemical munitions, the decision was made to send in the SWAT team. During the standoff, officials obtained a search warrant for the house and arrest warrants for Jackson.

At around 4 p.m., the HCSO SWAT team entered the home and found Jackson hiding in the laundry room. At some point during this, Jackson came out of the laundry room with a gun in his hand. The deputy involved allegedly yelled, “Hands, hands, hands, show me your hands!” This was in an attempt to get Jackson to drop his weapon.

When Jackson did not drop the gun, this deputy fired two rounds from his agency-issued rifle from about 15 feet away. Jackson then fell back into the laundry room.

Jackson then walked backward toward the deputies and resisted arrest, according to the report. Deputies were finally able to take him out of the house, where they put him on a gurney. Jackson was taken to Tampa General Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. According to the report, he has declined to make a statement on this incident.

The report stated that six other deputies saw Jackson holding a firearm in his hand at some point during the standoff. The deputy involved was partially captured on other deputies’ body cameras.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted the investigation, and a representative from the State Attorney’s Office responded to the scene.

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