Man shot by police while wielding butcher knife

Man shot by police wielded knife

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A man is in the hospital after being shot by police after they say he refused their orders to put down a butcher knife.

The incident happened on Jacksonville’s northside just after 9 a.m. Saturday.

Officers swarmed the corner of Lem Turner Road and Trout River Boulevard on Saturday morning, answering a call about a burglary at a grocery store.

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Chief T.K. Waters said when officers arrived, 39-year-old John Ritter was holding a butcher knife.

One witness who asked us not to show his face says he called 911 after Ritter started making threats.

“He was out of it. He didn’t mind telling us that he was going to rob somebody and stick somebody. It’s really sad,” the witness said. Waters said officers chased Ritter, commanding him to drop the weapon, but Ritter refused.

“The officer attempted to use his controlled energy weapon, or known as a Taser. He attempted to use that, but it was not successful. The officer then fired one shot, striking the subject,” said Waters.

Now, Ritter is in the hospital in stable condition.

No officers were hurt. “He was wearing an orange hoodie, short guy, was just really determined he was going to get some money one way or another. Glad they got him, glad the officer wasn’t hurt,” explained the witness.

Waters said Officer T. Davis fired the shot. He was placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in a case like this.

Davis has been with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for 11 years, and this was his first officer-involved shooting.

We checked and found that Ritter was released from prison in August of last year after serving about three years for resisting an officer with violence.

JSO says charges are currently pending for Ritter. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.