A federal agent was gunned down in the parking lot of a grocery store in Clay County, Fla., on Sept. 26. Shelby Floyd-Berrios heard the shots and rushed to help, even though she’s five months’ pregnant.
“I had no other option — I saw him go down, and there was no choice in my mind,” Floyd-Berrios told First Coast News. “I wasn’t going to let someone lay there and die.” Floyd-Berrios had undergone some training as a nurse.
The mother-to-be is a hairstylist at the nearby Great Clips salon. Security footage shows her rushing out to where the officer lay bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. At the time, Floyd-Berrios had no idea if the shooter was still active.
The officer, whose name has not been released to the public, was taken to a local hospital where he remains in critical condition, although deputies reportedly said he has a “positive prognosis.”
Update on the shooting investigation in the Publix parking lot on Oakleaf Plantation Parkway – An officer with Customs…
The shooter has been identified as 18-year-old Thomas Jacob Lewis. At the time of the shooting, Lewis had an active arrest warrant for the sale and delivery of narcotics.
According to police, Lewis was driving a convertible BMW through the parking lot of the Publix grocery store. He drove up behind the officer, opened fire, and sped off. Lewis then turned the gun on himself. He was still behind the wheel at the time and crashed into another car after shooting himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Social media accounts belonging to Lewis appear to show a reverence for gang culture, including posts critical of police officers. On Tumblr he posted numerous pictures of guns, women, money, and drugs. His last tweet, posted the day of the shooting, reads “Payback time bitch.”
Payback time bitch
— JAKE LEWI$ (@jakel1099) September 26, 2017
Police speculate that Lewis was paranoid about the warrant for his arrest and perhaps thought the uniformed officer was following him and then ambushed the officer. “We’re not exactly sure what the motive was behind this,” said CCSO Chief Wayne McKinney. “The officer was wearing police clothing, a badge, and a shoulder holster.” At the time he was shot, the officer was carrying groceries back to his car.
The wounded officer is not a police officer, but rather a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent. There’s no known connection between the officer and Lewis. Witnesses report that Lewis was acting strangely right before the shooting.
“It just seems like one guy was extremely paranoid … he felt like a guy was following him and that’s when he turned around and opened fire … shot [the officer] several times,” a witness, who didn’t want to be named, told First Coast News.
Lewis’s mother has issued a statement to the media saying:
“As the mother of Jake Lewis, I can only express my horror and grief at yesterday’s events. Although Jake no longer lived with me as a result of the structure and discipline that I attempted to place on him, I loved him dearly and he would still text me. When the Clay County Sheriff’s Office called me yesterday regarding his arrest warrant, I contacted Jake immediately and begged him to turn himself in. I would ask first for your prayers on behalf of the wounded officer and our law-enforcement community as they face danger every day. Second, I ask for your prayers for a grieving family that will try to remember Jake from better times. Finally if it is in your heart I ask for your prayers for the soul of my deceased son. Thank you for your patience and privacy during this difficult time.”
As Floyd-Berrios applied pressure to the fallen officer’s wounds, she realized she recognized him from somewhere; he’d been a customer in her salon.
“He’s a really sweet and noble gentleman and he deserves our respect, he serves our community,” she said. “I hope [he’s] doing OK and comes back into the salon because [he has] a big hug waiting on him.”
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