Sheriff: Vest saves Fla. officer shot serving warrant

The ballistic vest he was wearing saved his life "without a doubt," Sheriff Mike Williams said


By Dan Scanlan
The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE COUNTY, Fla. — Charges have been upgraded against a man and woman following Monday's shooting that nearly killed a SWAT officer helping serve a search warrant in the 7200 block of Rutledge Pearson Drive, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.  

Initially charged with armed possession of marijuana, Anthony Christopher Gantt, 28, and Diamonds Jonquil Ford, 29, now have additional counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, according to Duval County jail records.

Police stand by at Ken Knight Drive following the shooting of a Jacksonville police officer outside a home on Rutledge Pearson Drive Monday morning. (Photo/Will Dickey, Florida Times-Union)
Police stand by at Ken Knight Drive following the shooting of a Jacksonville police officer outside a home on Rutledge Pearson Drive Monday morning. (Photo/Will Dickey, Florida Times-Union)

Detective R.M. Nauss continues to recover at home after he was shot multiple times, the ballistic vest he was wearing saving his life "without a doubt," Sheriff Mike Williams said during a Monday news conference.

The 19-year Sheriff's Office veteran and member of the SWAT team was helping U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents serve a high-risk warrant at a home about 8 a.m. Monday when he was shot. Even with the vest on, Nauss received some minor injuries and "a significant amount of trauma," Williams said.

The shooting was the first of a Jacksonville police officer in at least four years, Times-Union records show.

When officers and agents arrived at the home, they used a public address system to identify themselves, saying they were there to serve a warrant, the sheriff said. Gunshots came from inside the home and Nauss was struck but able to return fire.

Police detained Gantt and Ford, who were inside the home. No other suspects were at-large.

Before Monday, the most recent shooting of a Jacksonville police officer happened March 9, 2016, when an off-duty narcotics detective taking his son to school was shot and critically injured. The 19-year-old suspect fired at him during a traffic stop near Collins Road and Roosevelt Boulevard and was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, court records show. The detective recovered and subsequently received a Purple Heart, police said.

Next: Why I wear a Safe Life Defense vest: One officer’s story

Next: What good is body armor that you don’t want to wear?

©2020 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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