Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Law & Order

Updated: JSO Officer Shot; 19-Year-Old In Custody

bullet holes in windshield
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

An off-duty narcotics detective shot Wednesday morning during a traffic stop on the Westside is out of surgery and expected to survive, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced just before noon.

Nineteen-year-old Kevin Rojas, who survived being shot four times at the end of a chase, was charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

The undercover officer's name will not be released, but he was described as a veteran of JSO, where he has worked since 2008. Chief Tom Hackney said the detective was shot at least three times: once in the head, once in the upper body and once in the hand.

"He still needs some prayers, and he's got some recovery to do," Hackney said.

Officers pursued Rojas into a neighborhood off Collins Road. He survived the shooting and was expected to be released and booked into the Duval County jail later in the day.

Hackney said the officer was shot beside the railroad tracks on Collins Road, just off Roosevelt Boulevard. The reason for the stop was unclear, but the suspect had just been in an altercation with his girlfriend. Hackney said he didn't know if the detective was aware of that when he pulled the suspect over.

Credit News4Jax
JSO says the officer's shooting happened near the railroad tracks on Collins Road near Highway 17.

The plainclothes officer, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was able to call for help before collapsing outside his car. The windshield of the officer's vehicle was shattered by gunfire.

The officer's 14-year-old son was in his car on his way to school at the time, but he was not hurt.

"It's by God's grace that he was not hurt as well," Hackney said.

The officer's unmarked patrol car was left on the tracks, but was moved by bystanders before an approaching train arrived. CSX has now closed the tracks until the police investigation is over.

Hackney said officers arriving to help were flagged down by someone whose Ford F-350 pickup was reported stolen by the gunman a short distance from the shooting scene. Officers pursued the pickup down Collins Road, and when they tried to pull it over, the driver sped up and turned into a subdivision. When it turned down a dead-end street, the pickup struck a house, authorities said.

Credit Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
Shooting suspect Kevin Rojas is seen in this mug shot from a January 2015 arrest.

Officers found the suspect on the back porch of the home. Two officers said that when the man refused to drop the gun and began to raise it, they both fired. Police believe that the suspect had also fired into the home before the officers caught up with him.

Sheriff Mike Williams and State Attorney Angela Corey visited UF Health Jacksonville to get an update on the officer.

Police expect Collins Road between Roosevelt and Blanding boulevards to be closed much of the day while investigators process scene. The Sheriff's Office wanted to alert parents who use Collins to get to area schools to pick up students for Wednesday's early release to plan to use I-295 or Timuquana Road instead.

This was the fourth officer-involved shooting in Jacksonville this year but the first time an officer has been critically injured by gunfire since 2008.

Original story below:

An off-duty narcotics detective with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was critically injured Wednesday morning on the Westside, and other officers caught up with the suspected gunman and shot him.

Sheriff Mike Williams says there was an exchange of gunfire at the initial scene, near railroad tracks near Collins Road and Roosevelt Boulevard, and also where the suspect was shot further down Collins Road.

Williams said the officer was shot in the chest, taken by air ambulance to UF Health Jacksonville and rushed into surgery. Williams said the officer, whose name was not released at the scene, was in critical condition.

Williams denied reports that the suspect was killed.

Williams said the were witnesses to the initial shooting.

"We're piecing all the details together now," Williams said. "What we don't yet have is what happened between the suspect and the officer."

What is known is the officer was found shot in the chest outside his car, but the windshield of his vehicle was shattered by gunfire.

Williams said the suspect may have carjacked another vehicle at the scene and was pursued by other officers down Collins Road, where other shots were exchanged and the suspect was hit by gunfire.

Roosevelt Boulevard and Collins Road were closed while investigators work at the scene

Police are investigating reports that this incident started with the theft of a truck.

Correction: The headline on this story originally said "killed" instead of "shot." We apoligize for the error.