JSO: Man shot during Apple watch robbery investigation
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The shooting, which killed Leon Burroughs, happened after police arrived on scene to talk to him about a robbery. They had tracked a stolen Apple watch.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department has released bodyworn camera footage in a deadly police-involved shooting in the1800 block of Hardy Street on January 20.

The video was released as part of a pre-recorded, edited press briefing on the sheriff’s office YouTube page. 

Chris Brown, Chief of Professional Standards for JSO, spoke at the beginning of the briefing to provide background information. He said a witness had provided a physical description of a burglary suspect who fled on a bicycle.

The victim of that robbery had their Apple watch stolen and was able to track it to the location on Hardy Street. 

Police say they located Leon Burroughs, 39, who was living in his car on his grandmother’s property and identified him as the suspect. Brown says the bicycle identified in the crime was nearby the car.

At the time the bodycam footage was taken, it is dark outside and Burroughs appear to be asleep in the car.

The video shows police found a firearm on top of the car, which they removed and stored safely.

Officers open the door to the car, which they are heard saying is unlocked. 

The officers open the door and attempt to talk to Burroughs, who appears to just have woken up. They continue to tell him to put his hands up and exit the car.

One of the officers whose bodycam footage was used is shining a flashlight at Burroughs in the video. Burroughs says the light is in his eyes and he can’t see what is going on. At one point, he says the light is “blinding” him. The officer moves the flashlight and says that Burroughs needs to get out of the car.

Burroughs continues to say he can’t get out of the car until the light is off of him and he can see clearly.

“Get out, or I’m gonna pull you out,” the officer says. As he tries to coax Burroughs out of the car, he says “let me see your hands one more time,” and Burroughs shoots at police.

Police then shoot back and a barrage of gunfire follows.

The officer wearing the bodycam retreats. After rapid gunfire quiets, he says, “Cease fire, cease fire, cease fire, shots fired by police. Shots fired police.” He says on his radio that he has been hit.

Brown said in the briefing that this officer’s face was grazed by a bullet in the shooting.

Bodycam footage from an officer who was standing behind the car shows the muzzle flash from Burroughs’ gun.

Brown said the police on scene moved to a safe place to treat the officer’s injuries. When they returned to the scene, Burroughs was dead inside the car.

An independent investigation and investigation by the state attorney’s office are underway.

The officers involved in this shooting have not been named because their identities are protected under Florida law.

Family says shooting was ‘unjustified’ 

Burroughs’ family was inside the home where his car was parked during the shooting, including his mother, Alisa Hill, who called the shooting “unjustified.”

“I was helpless,” she said. “I couldn’t help my son at all, and that’s what I would tell him: ‘I’m so sorry I couldn’t help you.'”

“They was everywhere, so I’m thinking, ‘Okay, maybe they’re looking for somebody wandering around,'” Hill said. “He never indicated it was a crime that happened. He never indicated he was investigating a crime. He never told us anything. They surrounded that car, and within 10 minutes, my son was dead.”

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