A Jacksonville Beach police officer wounded late Wednesday in a shootout between officers and a gunman is in stable condition and the suspected shooter has been charged with attempted murder, Police Chief Pat Dooley said Thursday morning.
Our News4Jax partner reports Cpl. William Eierman was hit in the leg and pelvic region and was being treated in the Intensive Care wing of Memorial Hospital, Dooley said. His family is with him and he is in good spirits, Dooley added.
The suspected shooter, Jovan Sisljagic, a 27-year-old Jacksonville resident, was also injured in the shootout and was released from the hospital Thursday, Dooley said. He has been booked into the Duval County Jail on two counts of attempted murder.
"I have a police officer in a hospital bed in intensive care. The family he has is extremely upset. It's as bad as it gets for me right now," Dooley said, adding that he's grateful for the outpouring of support his department has received from the community and state and local leaders.
According to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, Sisljagic was on Shetter Avenue just before 10 p.m. when he fired a handgun at a K-9 officer who was driving down the street.
"I don't want to say it was an ambush, but he clearly shot at a police vehicle that was marked, so you can draw your own inference from that," Dooley said.
The K-9 officer was not injured but when he realized he had taken fire, he turned his vehicle around, got out and confronted Sisljagic behind the Jimmy Hula's restaurant, Dooley said.
He told Sisljagic to drop his weapon, and Sisljagic shot at him again, Dooley said. The officer returned fire, and Sisljagic ran east, where he was confronted by several other officers, who engaged in small "run-and-gun battle" with him, Dooley said.
After another officer encountered Sisljagic and exchanged gunfire with him, Eierman confronted Sisljagic in the parking lot of a Waffle House. The officer had been working a nearby traffic crash and ran toward the shooting when he heard the gunfire on radio traffic, Dooley said.
Eierman was hit when officers and Sisljagic exchanged gunfire again, Dooley said.
Sisljagic was hit three times -- in the foot, shoulder and a grazing wound to the side of his body.
Both Eierman and Sisljagic were taken to Memorial Hospital for treatment. Eierman, a 16-year veteran of the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, is expected to make a full recovery.
"It's traumatic," Dooley said. "It's a small police department. We're like family here. We know each other's families. We've watched all of our children grow up. It's gut-wrenching. It's inexcusable."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is handling the investigation.