Jacksonville police officer responding to robbery call involved in fatal accident

A pedestrian was killed Wednesday night on Jacksonville’s Southside by a police officer responding to a robbery call, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Police said Officer T.L. James was driving in the 5000 block of University Boulevard West at 9:45 p.m. when the accident occurred. A man in his 60’s ran in front of the cruiser when he was hit.

According to Times-Union news partner First Coast News, James did not have his emergency lights on because he was not the primary officer responding to the robbery. But he was right behind a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department vehicle that was headed to an incident with its emergency lights on, police said.

The fire engine was able to avoid the man as he ran across University Boulevard near Philips Highway. Then the man stopped in the center lane before darting back across the road, and that is when he was hit by James’ cruiser, police said.

James is a three-year veteran of the force, and she was placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues. Police also said that James said she was going the speed limit when the accident occurred.

This is the second police-involved fatality involving a crash in May.

At about 8 p.m. May 1, Officer B.P. Daigle was heading south on Moncrief Road near Sycamore Street when the southbound cyclist Derrick Ronald Woolbright crossed into his path, according to the sheriff’s office. The officer was headed to a theft call on 30th Street without his emergency lights or siren on because it wasn’t a high-priority call, police said at the time.

The Wednesday night accident was also the second police-involved fatality in as many days, after 25-year-old Terry Percy Campbell was shot and killed early Wednesday by a SWAT sniper after a barricaded standoff in an apartment on Mindanao Drive in Arlington, police said. He was shot when he pointed a gun at officers from an upstairs window, according to the Sheriff’s Office. It was the fourth time Jacksonville police have shot somebody this year. Two of the others were killed by police, while one ended with the suspect killing himself. Last year there were nine, three of which were fatal, according to Times-Union records.

Wednesday night’s crash caused both directions of West University Boulevard to be closed between Philips Highway and Cagle Road during the initial investigation, police said.

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