Agents and officers from a handful of federal and local agencies across two states have arrested a man wanted for allegedly shooting a Florida police officer in the head. The arresting authorities used the gravely injured officer’s handcuffs to restrain the suspect once they caught him in a treehouse in neighboring Georgia, they announced Saturday morning.
CAPTURED- Othal Wallace is in custody! He was put in @DaytonaBchPD Officer Jason Raynor’s handcuffs.
Wallace was found in an encampment near Atlanta affiliated with a black nationalist group. Lots of guns & ammo found in the treehouse he was hiding in. pic.twitter.com/f06LEAuK2H
— Alexa Lorenzo (@ALorenzoTV) June 26, 2021
Othal Toreyane Resheen Wallace, 29, who worked as a security guard, is accused of shooting Daytona Beach Police Department Officer Jason Raynor in the face as Raynor attempted to “investigat[e] suspicious activity near Wallace’s vehicle” on Wednesday, June 23, the FBI said. By Thursday, June 24, local authorities in Volusia County, Fla., had secured a warrant for Wallace’s arrest on a charge of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm, the FBI added.
Wallace went by the alias “O’Zone,” according to several news reports. He was caught around 2:30 in the morning on Saturday hiding in a tree house in a wooded area of DeKalb County, Georgia, east of Atlanta, said Chief Jakari Young of the Daytona Beach Department at an early Saturday morning news conference. The chief also announced the arrest with jubilation on Twitter and shared images of the arrest online.
IN CUSTODY!!! pic.twitter.com/YgaqVHMQwM
— Chief Jakari Young (@ChiefJakari) June 26, 2021
Young said Wallace was arrested on a three-acre property that contained two structures and a trailer in addition to the tree house.
“The property is affiliated with an organization called the — they call themself the Not F’ing Around Coalition, or just simply known as the NFAC, which is a Black nationalist paramilitary organization,” Young said. “In the tree house with Wallace was multiple flash bangs, rifle plates, body armor, two rifles, two handguns, and several boxes of ammunition. A large arsenal of weapons was also located in the main residence.”
“Four additional people were located on this property,” Young added. Their identities were not immediately released, and it is unclear if they have been or will be charged with any crimes.
Four members of the Daytona Beach Police Department were on the scene, Young said; they “put Officer Raynor’s handcuffs on Wallace” as an act of fidelity to the colleague described earlier in the investigation as in the hospital and fighting for his life.
The manhunt lasted 56 hours, Young said. The U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, and the DeKalb County Police Department were involved with the search. The Georgia State Patrol is the agency which executed the warrant.
Before Wallace was arrested in Georgia, the FBI said he “could be in Arkansas due to possible ties and contacts” in that state, according to Rogers/Fayetteville, Ark. television duopoly KNWA/KFTA.
Chief Young said he was proud of his officers for rallying together and thanked “people from all over the country” who have “flooded” his department with support. He said Raynor, the injured officer, on Friday showed “positive signs of improvement” but “still has a ways to go.” Doctors determined that the wounded officer was now “strong enough to endure more testing,” Young said.
“His outlook is — it is improving; it’s a positive one; but we’re just going to continue to pray that he continues to heal,” Young continued. “I have permission [from] his mother and his sister to let everybody know that they greatly appreciate the support that they have received.”
This is just a few of the donations that have come in for our men and women searching for the suspect who shot Officer Jason Raynor.
— Daytona Beach Police (@DaytonaBchPD) June 25, 2021
Young said Wallace made a chilling comment after the cops converged to take the charged criminal into custody: “You guys know who I am; you know what I’m capable of; and it could have been a lot worse.”
A Facebook page which appeared to be connected to Wallace — and which the authorities said they had been “monitoring” — suggested that the defendant is also linked to the New Black Panther Party and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club Alabama Chapter, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported on Friday. Newton founded the Black Panthers.
Wallace will be extradited to Daytona Beach to face charges, Chief Young said.
Tonight, one of our officers radioed that he was on Kingston Ave investigating a suspicious incident. After several minutes passed, the officer stopped responding to other units calling him on the radio. Officers responded to his location where he was found lying on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound. The officer was transported to Halifax Medical Center where he is currently listed in critical condition. We currently have a multi-agency manhunt underway looking for the suspect. Please keep our officer and his family in your prayers. This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be released as soon as its available.
Body camera footage of the incident shows Raynor approaching Wallace in a gray Honda said to have been bearing California plates.
THREAD (1 OF 2): A $100,000 reward is now available for anyone who can help authorities locate the man who shot one of our officers in the head earlier this evening.
The man we’re looking for is located in the video below. His name is Othal Wallace. He’s 29 years old. pic.twitter.com/hYHNqVLg8C
— Daytona Beach Police (@DaytonaBchPD) June 24, 2021
“How’s it going?” Officer Raynor asked. “Do you live here?”
“What’s going on?” Wallace asked as he stepped out of his car.
Raynor incessantly asked Wallace to sit so he could talk to him.
“Come on, now,” Wallace asked. “Don’t do this. Why you asking me if I live here? What’s going on?”
Wallace appears to be the person saying “back up” and “stop” to Raynor.
A single gunshot rang out approximately 25 seconds after Raynor approached Wallace’s vehicle.
Authorities said Raynor was responding to citizen concerns when he was shot and nearly killed.
He was “[d]oing his job because the neighbors were complaining about gun violence, drug sales and everything else, and they were stepping up patrols in the area,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told the News-Journal earlier in the case. Chitwood described Raynor as a “poor kid” who “just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
[mugshot via the Volusia County, Fla. Sheriff’s Department; arrest image via the Daytona Beach police chief/Twitter]
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