2-year-old boy shot by Jacksonville police goes home; family retains law firm – News – The Florida Times-Union

Jim Schoettler


A 2-year-old boy from Jacksonville was shot dead on March 26 when police tried to stop a robbery / carjacking suspect, a hospital spokesman said Wednesday night.

Daniel Crichton continues his recovery after initially being hospitalized in Shands Jacksonville in critical condition with gunshots to the chest and arm. His mother, Joann Cooper, was shot in the foot and treated and released.

The two were wounded in a hail of bullets fired by five Jacksonville police officers when they tried to stop Jeremiah Mathis. Police said Mathis, 31, robbed a Wachovia bank on Baymeadows Road and stole Cooper while it was in a nearby Wendy drive.

They fired 42 times, killing Mathis, but also beating the toddler and mother. Some of the bullet holes were on the passenger side of Cooper’s car, where she had been forced to sit down. Her 7-year-old stepdaughter was also in the back seat, but somehow escaped the gunfire.

It remains unclear whether the officers saw the children. Mathis never fired the .357 revolver in his possession, the police said earlier. The case sparked a debate about whether the measures were necessary.

A criminal investigation of the officials by the public prosecutor is expected to take a few more weeks. If no law violations are found, a response from the Sheriff’s Office to the Resistance Board will determine whether Office policies have been violated.

Three of the officers – Lt. Jesse York and officers Jason Lederman and Richard Santaro – returned to road work Monday after a routine administrative vacation. The others – Officer Ryan Black and Recruit Darries Griffith – were reassigned to desk duty. A police spokesman said no one from the sheriff’s office was available to explain the duties.

Sheriff John Rutherford said he would hold a press conference today to provide a detailed explanation of the investigation process following a police shooting.

Cooper recently hired the law firm Sheppard, White, Thomas, and Kachergus to represent their family. The company, which frequently questions police measures, declined to comment on Wednesday.

jim.schoettler@jacksonville.com,
(904) 359-4385

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