A 16-year-old believed to be involved in a string of restaurant robberies was shot Sunday night by two police officers after another Southside restaurant was robbed, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
The gun used in the robbery of a Jimmy John's in a shopping center at the corner of Beach and University boulevards on Sunday was in a bag stuffed with cash that 16-year-old Dominion Bradshaw was carrying, authorities said. Bradshaw was shot twice—once in the thigh and once in the ankle— by an off-duty officer and a responding officer as he fled the scene, police said.
Bradshaw was initially hospitalized with critical injuries, but police said he was upgraded to serious but stable condition on Monday afternoon.
Two men waiting in what police described as a getaway car were also arrested, police said. Bradshaw, Cameron Pooler, 24, and Harry Davis, 19, are all facing armed robbery charges. All three are believed to be connected to the robbery spree, police said.
Chief Tom Hackney said Sunday's robbery was the most recent in a string of eight similar restaurant robberies on the Southside since early October. Most involved a silver handgun and a bag similar to the one used in Sunday night's robbery.
“There are other surveillance videos that we have that have a very similar bag," Hackney said. “That's no BB gun. That's no orange tip. That is a cannon."
John Zielger, who works at Wok N' Roll, knows just how big a gun barrel can seem when it's pointed during an armed robbery.
Zielger was at the Wok N' Roll cashier's counter in December when a man came in with a gun and demanded that money be placed in a book bag.
“That's not a pretty sight when you look up and see a gun in your face,” Zielger said.
He said the gun pointed at him was different from the one in police-released evidence photos from Sunday night's robbery. But he said the crimes sounded similar.
“Besides the hoodies and the little black scarf they wear over their face, that's it,” Zielger said. “I think it's a possibility that it's all going (to be linked) together.”
He said after seeing the mug shots of the three men, Davis' eyes jumped out at him.
“His eyes are real—they look like they're on something, or his eyes are just naturally like that—so if I had to pick one, I would pick him,” Zielger said.
Officers shoot robbery suspect
Hackney said Officer Michael Price, a 13-year veteran who had worked on a task force investigating the recent robberies, was arriving at his apartment complex on Cruz Road, which runs behind the shopping center where the Jimmy John's is located, when he noticed a car backed into a handicapped parking spot. The officer told investigators the car seemed suspicious because he didn't recognize it from the complex and it was running with three people inside.
Price said he saw one of the occupants get something out of the trunk and put on a ski mask, then climb over a concrete wall to enter the shopping center. Price then went in his apartment, got his bulletproof vest, service weapon and police radio and called in that he suspected an armed robbery was about to happen.
By the time the armed robbery call from Jimmy John's came in, the first officer was already arriving in the shopping center and saw a suspect coming out of the restaurant. He ordered the person to stop, but he only changed direction and climbed back over the wall, where Price was waiting.
Hackney said that when the person wouldn't stop, believing the person he was confronting had just pulled a robbery with a handgun, Price feared for his life and fired four shots. A second responding officer, who had chased down the suspicious car with two people still inside on Cruz Road, heard the shots, responded with a rifle and fired five or six shots.
With Bradshaw bleeding profusely from his thigh, Officer David Couch, who is also a registered nurse, retrieved a tourniquet and applied it before Bradshaw was transported to UF Health Jacksonville.
Pooler and Davis, the two men in the car, were arrested without incident. Hackney said Davis is a registered member of a known gang. According to the arrest reports, two guns were also found in the car.
Bradshaw has a juvenile arrest record for charges including charges of domestic aggravated assault and burglary.
Officers Price and Couch, who fired their guns, were placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol after a police-involved shooting.
“What Officer Price thought was happening was happening. That's a good example that, despite the fact that we may be off duty, we're never off. You can't undo police training, thankfully so," Hackney said. "This community should be very pleased that the men and women of this agency take the time to notice these things in their off-duty capacity. He didn't go into his house. He didn't shut the door. He got involved and did what any good policeman should do."
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