Suspect, 16, was unarmed when shot
He, 3 others fled carjacked SUV when police began following them
By MATT COLEMAN, The Times-Union
A carjacking suspect who was shot Wednesday during a foot chase with Jacksonville police was 16 and unarmed, the Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
The suspect and three others had fled the stolen vehicle after police started following them, Chief Rick Graham said. He said Officer Adam Hiers, a six-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, was pursuing the driver behind a house in the 3400 block of Bark Street when Hiers fired one shot.
It was undetermined whether the driver presented any threat or made a move toward the officer, Graham said, but Hiers "felt threatened by the suspect."
According to a Florida statute on deadly force, officers are justified in the use of force "when necessarily committed in arresting felons fleeing from justice." The officer must "reasonably believe" the fleeing felon poses danger to the police or the public, or the suspect has committed a crime "involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm to another person."
State Attorney Harry Shorstein was unavailable for comment.
Tyrone Marquis Taylor of Jacksonville was struck once in the lower knee and taken to Shands Jacksonville. Taylor was charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, a felony. Last year, he was charged with auto theft.
The stolen car's owner, who declined to comment to the Times-Union on Thursday, was sitting in the sport utility vehicle in his driveway with the keys in the ignition about 9 a.m. Wednesday when an unknown assailant dragged him out, according to the police report. He didn't say anything or show a weapon, but the 35-year-old victim feared for his life, the report said.
Hiers and another officer were on patrol about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday near Emerson Street when they spotted a suspicious 2002 Nissan Xterra with four passengers.
The officers ran the plate and identified the car as having been stolen a little more than a mile away.
The officers followed the SUV through the 3400 block of Bark Street when the passengers abruptly opened the car doors and fled.
Police detained but didn't charge one of the passengers, a juvenile whose name was redacted from the police report. They are still looking for the other two. The juvenile's caretaker declined to comment.
Graham said it was unknown if any of the other passengers were carrying weapons.
This is the 20th police shooting this year, surpassing the 2007 total of 19.
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