Bullet Proof Vest Saves Officer's Life in Shootout

This is a discussion on Bullet Proof Vest Saves Officer's Life in Shootout within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/l...storyid=100886 By Kristin Smith First Coast News JACKSONVILLE -- Five year Jacksonville Sheriff's officer Jared Reston is recovering in the hospital after being shot six ...

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    Bullet Proof Vest Saves Officer's Life in Shootout

    http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/l...storyid=100886

    By Kristin Smith
    First Coast News

    JACKSONVILLE -- Five year Jacksonville Sheriff's officer Jared Reston is recovering in the hospital after being shot six times by a shoplifting suspect near the Regency Mall.

    Police identified the suspect killed by officers as 18-year-old Joel Abner. The suspect under arrest is 20-year-old Christopher Smith.

    The incident began at Regency Square Mall at around 7:45 Saturday evening.

    Mall security alerted two off-duty JSO officers to two shoplifting suspects.

    The suspects apparently engaged security in a physical altercation. The two off-duty officers, Reston, and Chris Brown, took over the situation. Brown was getting the first shoplifting suspect, 20 year old Christopher Smith, under control. But the second suspect, 18 year old Joel Abner, started to run.

    The JSO says Officer Reston chased Abner through the mall, through the mall parking lot, over the Arlington Expressway, to the 9400 block of Atlantic Boulevard.

    Police say suspect Abner had his hands in the front pocket of his shirt while running from Rustin.

    At that point, the JSO Undersheriff Frank Mackesy says, Officer Reston drew his gun.

    Mackesy says a driver nearby saw the scene and pulled his car into a nearby parking lot. He says the witness is in the Navy.

    Mackesy says Abner ran into the area of an old retention pond, now dried up, where he turned around, took his hands out of his pockets, and pulled a gun on Officer Reston.

    Police say the witness told them Abner shot at Rustin several times before Reston was able to return fire.

    The witness told police Reston fell down after being shot. The witness says Abner walked over to the fallen officer and shot him at close range.

    Undersheriff Frank Mackesy says a bullet proof vest saved Reston's life.

    Reston was able to get up and was finally able to return fire on the suspect.

    Police say 26 rounds were fired - 12 from the suspect's weapon, a 45-caliber semi-automatic Glock handgun.

    Police say Abner was shot seven times and died at the scene.

    Police were not able to provide the witnesses information, but say he did call 911, and was able to assist Reston after the shooting. Police say the other officer, Brown, arrived at that time, and also assisted Reston.

    Reston was shot six times in the face, chest and leg.

    Reston underwent surgery at Shands Jacksonville Saturday night for a broken jaw.

    Police say Abner was found with a stolen shirt, and was wearing a pair of stolen jeans.

    The other shoplifting suspect, Smith, was arrested. He made his first court appearance Sunday afternoon. He faces charges of petty theft under $100 and resisting a retail merchant. Smith has no prior criminal history.

    First Coast News' Kristin Smith is working on this story. Watch the full report on First Coast News starting at 6.
    "Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual change; but this change is not [an improvement]. For everything that is given, something is taken."
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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Holy crap! All that for a new shirt and jeans?

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    Willing to murder a police officer over a pair of pants and a shirt? Sounds like we've found our new poster boy for the death penelty.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I can't believe he walked up to the officer to finish him off. What a lowlife...

    I was cut with a knife by a shoplifter, and another shoplifter hit me with an arnis stick that had been sawed in half. After a year of that, I resigned from being a store detective. Shoplifters are more often than not, someone with a slight mental issue but otherwise normal - most have enough money to pay for what they steal in their wallet, every once in awhile, you get an actual "bad guy" that you catch shoplifting. When that happens, you quickly realize you are grossly under-compensated.

    I hope the Officer recovers quickly, and fully. And I sincerely hope they prosecute his accomplice.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Prayers to the Officer involved! The scumbag must have had some mental issues. Willing to kill an Officer for less than $100 of stuff? Not the sharpest knife in the drawer..........
    Tim
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    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper58 View Post
    Prayers to the Officer involved! The scumbag must have had some mental issues. Willing to kill an Officer for less than $100 of stuff? Not the sharpest knife in the drawer..........
    The suspect in this case doesn't even know where the drawer is.

    The value of the merchandise is totally irelevant. This dude was willing to kill for gain, and actually tried to do that. One cent, or a billion dollars, it's just as wrong, just as unacceptable, and a murdered victim is just as dead.

    There is no way time in jail is going to "fix" what is wrong with this suspect.

    Fitch

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    He probably learned his "skills" inside! Good thing he's gone - one less BG in the gene pool! I'm surprised the surviving BG wasn't charged with murder. Florida is usually pretty quick to charge all involved with the most serious crime.
    Tim
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    New Member Array S4gunn's Avatar
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    One thing I don't understand:
    Why was an off duty officer wearing a BP vest? Was he just coming/going to work? On his lunch break?

    That was a very fortuitious decision on his part but I'm somewhat amazed that an officer would be walking through the mall toting a BP vest.

    -g

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    I had a guy TRY to pull a 6" buck knife on me when he stole a $1.94 (tax included) bud light beer, he walked out the door I told him to go back inside the store and return the beer, he decided my life was worth less than that 24oz beer and Tried to kill me with above said knife, lucky for me mr. crackhead didnt know how to draw/retain a weapon, I am still here and he is now out on parol after 18 months of a 6 year sentence.
    NEVER BRING A KNIFE TO A GUNFIGHT.

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    Senior Member Array mulle46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
    One thing I don't understand:
    Why was an off duty officer wearing a BP vest? Was he just coming/going to work? On his lunch break?

    That was a very fortuitious decision on his part but I'm somewhat amazed that an officer would be walking through the mall toting a BP vest.

    -g
    The officers were probably working an off-duty job providing armed security for the mall.

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Just lucky the BG didn't do a head shot standing over the downed officer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper58 View Post
    He probably learned his "skills" inside! Good thing he's gone - one less BG in the gene pool! I'm surprised the surviving BG wasn't charged with murder. Florida is usually pretty quick to charge all involved with the most serious crime.
    I don't think the 'fat lady' is singing about this one YET...
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    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    So much for the one stop shot with a .45. I also noticed that each one had a 50% hit rate (26 rouds and 13 hits). Seeing as how the LEO had six .45 caliber slugs in him I would say that 7 out of 14 probably from a .40 was pretty good shooting.

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    The wife and I were at Regency mall earlier that evening and waiting to eat dinner a half a block away when it went down......it got tense for a few. It wasn't until we got home we found out what really happened. Jacksonville is getting worse to shop around in, much less to live there in that area.

    here's to a full recovery for the JSO cop!
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Senior Member Array palmgopher's Avatar
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    but with all this just remember......only the police need guns!....lol. one person with a firearm could have saved that officer a lot of hospital time!

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