Fla. officer shot in head identified; suspect still at large

A $100,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the suspect's arrest


By David J. Neal
The Miami Herald

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A $100,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of Othal Wallace, a 29-year-old father with Broward County ties who police believe shot a Daytona Beach police officer in the head Wednesday night.

Blue Alerts blew up phones around Florida Thursday afternoon about Wallace, who police say is "armed and dangerous."

Blue Alerts go out when a law enforcement officer has been injured or killed. Wednesday night, Daytona Beach Police Department Tweeted that 26-year-old Officer Jason Raynor was in critical condition. But, Thursday afternoon, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young would say only "I want to respect the family. Just keep him lifted up in prayer."

 

Young said Raynor has been with the Daytona Beach Police Department since February 2019. Before joining Daytona Beach's department, Raynor was with the Port Orange Police Department from October 2016 through February 2019. He's single with no kids, Young said, but his mother and sister are at his side.

Wallace's Facebook page, last updated June 6, says he lives in Hollywood. One database said he's lived in Fort Lauderdale, Deltona and New Smyrna Beach. Photos and captions show him to be a father of three. He owes Broward County $573 for driving on a suspended license for the second time, an arrest in Sunrise.

 

Wallace's most recent posts show photos of him as a member of the NFAC, the "Not F---- Around Coalition." A post on his page says the group believes responsible gun ownership by Black people — and the willingness to use them "to intervene in violent attacks against our people" — is a necessary part of any fight for social justice.

The bodycam footage

According to Daytona Beach police and the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, Raynor was "investigating a suspicious incident" on Kingston Avenue.

Raynor's bodycam footage posted to Twitter by Daytona Beach police shows the officer approaching a car and asking a man sitting in the driver's seat and wearing a yellow dashiki if he lives at the nearby building. The man asks "What's going on?" as he gets out of the car.

Raynor asks him to sit down in the car and puts his hands on the man's shoulders. The man refuses, and asks, "Why are you asking me if I live here? What's going on?"

Raynor keeps a hand on the man's shoulder, as he says, "Just answer yes or no." As a physical confrontation follows, Raynor says, "Stop. Stop. Stop!"

 

Police believe the man is Othal Wallace.

"After several minutes passed, the officer stopped responding to other units calling him on the radio," Daytona Beach police said. "Officers responded to his location where he was found lying on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound.

Police say Wallace might be driving a gray 2016 Honda HRV with California license plate 7TNX532.

Any tips can be phoned in to Daytona Beach Police's Emergency Operations Center, 386-671-5555.

(c)2021 Miami Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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