Victim Identified in Jacksonville Police-Involved Shooting | News

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Victim Identified in Jacksonville Police-Involved Shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The man who was killed in Thursday's police-involved shooting has been identified by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Juan Montrice Lawrence, 40, was shot once in the face and once in the hip after Officer Val Demps fired four shots at him during an undercover drug buy. Lawrence was asked to put his gun down a number of times and did not comply, according to JSO.

When officers entered the apartment, Lawrence was holding a gun with a magazine in it, as well as a full magazine in the other hand.

This was Demps' third police-involved shooting, and this one was the only fatal shooting. Each shooting, including this one, is treated as a separate incident. The amount of incidents are not out of the ordinary due to Demps' time on the force, JSO said.

Police initially went to apartment 906 at the Casa del Rio St. Johns Apartments at 3500 University Boulevard to conduct an undercover drug buy from Nathaniel Phillip Hill, 39. Over the course of four different occasions, including Thursday and dating back to March 7, Hill sold undercover officers a total of $260 worth of powder cocaine and/or crack-cocaine.

During Thursday's incident, Hill sold the officers $40 in crack-cocaine and shut the door. A minute later, he opened the door as if he were going to hand something to the officers. The officers attempted to take him into custody, and then Hill fell back into the closet with the officers. At this point, they were able to take him into custody.

$48.24 worth of cocaine was seized from the apartment, as well as a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol and a box of 9mm Blazer ammunition containing 30 live rounds, according to a report from JSO. These items were placed into evidence.

Hill has been charged with five counts of selling cocaine, one count of posession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and one count of  possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, as he was charged with felony possesion of cocaine in 2004.

He also faces three writ of attachment charges in reference to child support, as well as one charge of operating a vehicle with a suspended driver's license.

Hill declined to make a statement to detectives at this time. He was appeared in court today and is being held on a total bond of $354,376.


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