Fla. police officer dies 55 days after he was shot in the head

Officer Jason Raynor had joined the department in 2019

Duty Death: Jason Raynor - [Daytona Beach, Florida]

End of Service: 08/17/2021


By Frank Fernandez
The Daytona Beach News-Journal

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona Beach Police Officer Jason Raynor died on Tuesday, 55 days after he was shot in the head while on patrol, according to a tweet from the Daytona Beach Police Department.

Raynor had been at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach since he was shot on June 23.

This photo, from 2019, shows Jason Raynor being sworn in as a Daytona Beach police officer.
This photo, from 2019, shows Jason Raynor being sworn in as a Daytona Beach police officer. (Daytona Beach Police Department)

"Officer Jason Raynor passed away at 8:09 this evening ( August 17, 2021) at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach with his family at his side," according to the tweet from the Police Department.

"Now more than ever, we ask for all of you to embrace the Raynor family and the Daytona Beach Police Department in your hearts during this devastating time and pray that God will give us all the strength to persevere through this senseless tragedy," Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young stated in a release. "Jason's sacrifice will never be forgotten."

Young also stated: "In His infinite wisdom, God decided that it was time for this courageous young man to guard the gates of Heaven, even though that wasn't the outcome we had hoped for."

Young asked everyone to respect Raynor's family's privacy as they grieve.

"On behalf of the family, Chief Young thanks everyone who has shown their love and support," Young wrote.

"We ask that anyone who would like to send their condolences or offer a donation or do something on behalf of the Raynor family to please contact the Police Department instead of going directly to them," Young added. "We hope this will ease some of the burden on them."

Those who wish to contact the department may do so at JasminskiHeather@DBPD.us or (386) 671-5364.

Raynor, who had joined the Daytona Beach Police Department in 2019, was shot on June 23 by a man he was trying to question in the parking lot of an apartment building on Kingston Avenue, according to a charging affidavit. Police said Raynor and other officers were paying extra attention to the area because of citizen complaints about crime.

The community pulled together to support Raynor and his family in the aftermath of his shooting. The Police Department quickly ran out of "Raynor Strong" yard signs for $20 contributions each.

Police stand at attention as the alert tone comes over the radio at Halifax Health that Daytona Beach Police officer Jason Raynor had passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.
Police stand at attention as the alert tone comes over the radio at Halifax Health that Daytona Beach Police officer Jason Raynor had passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Tribune News Service)

The Daytona Beach Police Officer Jason Raynor Recovery Fund on GoFundMe has raised $377,963 from 4,900 donors toward a goal of $400,000.

Tow truck drivers had earlier organized a parade of tow trucks along with police cars in the parking lot of Halifax Health Medical Center to show support for Raynor and his family.

The man accused of shooting Raynor, Othal Wallace, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder with a firearm of a law enforcement officer. Wallace is being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail.

Prosecutors are now expected to upgrade the charge to first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer. The killing of a law enforcement officer is one of the aggravating factors in Florida law that allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

Before joining the Daytona Beach Police Department, Raynor was an officer in Port Orange. Raynor was one of three Port Orange officers who on Dec. 5, 2018 responded to the Dunlawton Avenue bridge where a woman was threatening to jump. Raynor and the other officers helped talk her down. Raynor was honored for his heroism in helping to save the woman.

Raynor joined the Daytona Beach Police Department in 2019.

He was patrolling the Kingston Avenue area early the night of June 23 when his body camera video shows he encountered Wallace, who was sitting in a Honda in the parking lot of the apartment where he lived with his girlfriend.

Raynor asked Wallace whether he lived there but Wallace replied with his own question, asking the officer what's going on and why was he asking whether he lived there.

Wallace stood up while Raynor repeatedly told him to sit down.

Raynor placed a hand on Wallace's left shoulder as Wallace continued asking what's going on and Raynor kept telling him to sit down.

Wallace appeared to push Raynor away as Raynor told him to stop. Then the video became shaky and ended.

Police officers arrived minutes later to find Raynor shot in the head. Raynor's gun was still in its holster.

Detectives found a case for a Glock pistol in Wallace's girlfriend's apartment. After Wallace's arrest in DeKalb County, Georgia, the ATF in Atlanta sent a Glock pistol to Daytona Beach Police, which submitted it to Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing, writing it was possibly used in an officer's shooting.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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