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Friday, April 12, 2024

Fla. Cop Resigns after Unloading Gun on Patrol Vehicle Due to Falling Acorn

'All I could do was lean over and play dead to prevent getting shot in the head. I was scared to death and I knew all I could depend on was God!'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) A Florida police officer resigned in December after unloading his firearm into his own patrol car after an acorn fell on his car and scared him, according to a Feb. 9 press release from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident took place on Nov. 12 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Deputy Jesse Hernandez was responding to a call from a woman who said her boyfriend, Marquis Jackson, had stolen her car and “had been calling and texting her threats,” Reason reported.

The woman said Jackson owned a firearm that may be equipped with a silencer.

During the course of the visit, Hernandez was spooked when an acorn from a nearby oak tree fell on top of a police vehicle, making a popping noise, which he perceived to be gunfire.

Fearing the worst, Hernandez shouted “Shots fired! Shots fired! Shots fired!” before dropping into a roll and firing 17 shots into it, emptying his clip in the suburban neighborhood.

Jackson, the handcuffed suspect was sitting in the back of the car at the time, but was miraculously unharmed by the spray.

When the firing began, “[a]ll I could do was lean over and play dead to prevent getting shot in the head,” Jackson recalled in a lengthy Facebook post.

“I was scared to death and I knew all I could depend on was God!” he added.

While Jackson acknowledged being physically unharmed, “mentally, I’m not ok,” he said, adding that “I truly believe I’m damaged for life.”

According to Okaloosa County Sheriff Eric Aden, Hernandez violated the department’s firearm policy, and had agreed to resign from the police force, effective Dec. 4. of last year.

“Deputy Hernandez resigned during the course of our investigation but was ultimately found to have violated policy” because his use of deadly force was not “objectively reasonable.”

The sheriff added that investigators “have no reason to think former Deputy Hernandez acted with any malice.”

Although his actions ultimately were “not warranted,” Aden noted, Hernandez “felt his life was in immediate peril and his response was based off the totality of circumstances surrounding this fear.”

The First Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office also reviewed the case and discovered “no probable cause for criminal charges.”

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