Florida police release body-cam footage of shooting; suspect had self-inflicted gunshot wound

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Police in Florida released body camera footage from an officer-involved shooting that left an 18-year-old Black man dead after the medical examiner discovered a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

“This case continues to be investigated,” the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. 

The Medical Examiner’s Office did not specify whether Devon Tilman Gregory died from the self-inflicted injury or from one of the dozens of bullets that police fired at the vehicle he was occupying during the Tuesday night incident. 

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Officers say they pulled over a vehicle with three people in it because the car failed to maintain a single lane, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters said in a statement after the shooting.

(Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office)

Body camera footage shows officers approaching the vehicle and asking the occupants if they have marijuana in the car. 

“You were smoking a little bit ago or something?” an officer says, explaining that he had detected the smell of marijuana and had probable cause to search the vehicle. 

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“Is there anything in the car we need to worry about? You guys mind if we check it out real quick and get you on your way?” the officer says before the driver is removed from the vehicle and handcuffed while the other two passengers remain in the car. 

A second officer looks into the car and sees Gregory, who appears to be smoking something, begin to reach under the seat.

Officers tell him repeatedly to stop, but Gregory continues, insisting that he’s reaching for his phone. 

The exchange grows tense, with officers shouting at Gregory: “Hey, don’t reach under there…Stop f****** reaching!”

One officer yells at Gregory, warning him, “You are about to get f****** shot!”

Gregory continues to ask if he can “please” get his phone and continues to reach. At one point, it appears he has a cellphone to his ear. Officers also remove the second passenger from the vehicle. 

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“Relax, man. Hey, relax. Pull your hand from under the seat,” one officer says, before the situation begins to escalate again after several minutes. 

“Shoot me!” Gregory yells at least a dozen times. “F****** kill me!”

“Listen to me. I promise you if you raise your hand with nothing in it, you will not get hurt,” one officer says. 

The 19-minutes of footage shows an officer approaching the vehicle with a K-9 dog, as Gregory yells “Leave me! Leave me!”

Gregory puts his head down between his legs and a gunshot is fired from inside the vehicle, as the teen’s head jerks backward. 

Officers then begin firing at the vehicle multiple times.

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Four officers remain on leave after the incident, which is standard protocol for the department.

Gregory’s family viewed the video before it was released on Thursday, First Coast News reported. 

Body-worn camera video is typically released only after an extensive investigation by both police and the State Attorney’s Office, the outlet said. 

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