Jacksonville Police: Fatal Shooting by Officer was Justified
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Jacksonville police officer feared for his life and acted in self-defense when he fatally shot an unarmed man, according to an internal review.
Andre Jontue Lamar, 25, was killed Saturday when he and another man attacked the off-duty officer, said Jacksonville Sheriff's Chief Frank Mackesy.
Officer Billy Kreeger Jr. was punched about 20 times before he pulled his gun, Mackesy said.
The fight began when the victim and Bernard Lamar Jordan, 25, wanted to use a computer in the officer's patrol car or in the nearby police stop station.
Kreeger pulled out his baton and called for backup as the argument escalated. He tried to arrest Jordan, who began punching him.
"The officer was fighting to control his weapon. A lot of officers are killed by their own gun," Mackesy said. "The officer did what he was trained to do. We are taught to shoot two times."
Residents nearby said the officer should have retreated to the police station or used less aggressive tactics.
"They need to find some other way to train these policemen," said neighbor D. Lowe Jr.
Lamar and Jordan are both listed as transients on a police report and have prior arrests.
Kreeger, who joined the Sheriff's Office ten years ago, had never before fired his gun in the line of duty, according to police records.
The State Attorney's Office and Use of Force Board are reviewing the case. Kreeger is on scheduled time off.