Jacksonville police search for ‘armed, dangerous’ suspect

Police are searching for a 27-year-old man who is considered armed and dangerous, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday afternoon.

Darrell Lyndell Gatlin has an active warrant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, police said.

He is described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 178 pounds.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Jacksonville teens killed in Yulee crash

Two Jacksonville teenagers were killed and one man was injured in a head-on crash believed to have been caused by weather conditions Wednesday night in Yulee, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The crash was reported about 7 p.m. and blocked all lanes of U.S. 17, just south of Harts Road, for several hours.

Troopers said a Nissan Sentra was traveling south on U.S. 17, and because of the weather conditions, it crashed into a Kia Soul that was going in the other direction.

The two teenagers in the Nissan, 16-year-old Kay Stanley Deraway IV, who was driving, and 15-year-old Travis Lighthall were killed.

“They were always joking around. A lot of people were touched by their lives and believe that they were taken too soon,” said Megan Stevens, a friend of Deraway. “Especially being only 16 and 15 years old.”

One of the teens attended First Coast High School and the other was at Oceanway Middle School. Duval County Public Schools released a statement Thursday:

The communities of First Coast High School, Oceanway Middle School, and Duval County Public Schools are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of two of its students due to an auto accident. To support the well-being of students and faculty, specially-trained school counselors and social workers will be onsite today at both schools, and will provide continued support as needed.

The boys’ families have set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for their funerals.

The man in the Kia was taken to UF Health with non-life-threatening injuries, troopers said.

Troopers continue to investigate the crash and are trying to determine why the Nissan left the roadway.

“It could be a handful of factors, weather, driver distraction, speed,” Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan said. “All of these things we are looking at to come to a conclusion when the investigation is completed.”

All parties involved were wearing their seatbelts, according to Bryan.

Charges are pending.

Police ID man killed in Westside shooting

Police have identified a 24-year-old man shot and killed Wednesday night on Jammes Road.

Police said two black men pulled up next to the Roshaun Hayles’ car about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday and started shooting into the car at an apartment complex on Jammes Road, near the intersection of Wilson and Blanding boulevards.

Hayles’ friends tried to take him to the hospital, but they stopped at the San Juan Corner Store at Jammes Road and Cassat Avenue to call for help.

Jacksonville Fire Rescue responded and took Hayles to UF Health, where he died, said JSO Sgt. Steve Rudlaff.

Police have recovered a dark green Toyota 4Runner they say was used by the two men.

Police say that they are aware of several witnesses who saw the shooting, and they are asking for those witnesses to contact police.

Anyone with information is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Sheriff to hold six town halls on use of body cams

A day after meeting with members of the NAACP, the Urban League and the Souther Christian Leadership Council, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams has announced a series of town hall meetings to discuss the future use of body cameras by JSO officers.

Williams will hold six town hall meetings to gather comments from citizens.

“Face-to-face information sharing is key in planning properly for major changes, such as the implementation of a body-worn camera program for Jacksonville’s police,” Williams said in a statement. “Now that we are far enough along in our research and study of various programs and policies around the country, I am moving forward with meetings and information exchanges like the ones I had yesterday.”

Williams initially shared information with the City Council’s Health and Safety Committee on Feb. 7. Some officers will be involved in a pilot program for body cameras this year. The sheriff’s office said it anticipates a late spring/early summer start for testing.

Dates and locations of the town hall meetings have not been announced, but the sheriff’s office said they will be held before the pilot program begins.

The SCLC previously pushed for body cam policies that followed five guidelines:

Develop camera policies in public with the input of civil rights advocates and the local community.

Commit to a set of narrow and well-defined purposes for which cameras and their footage may be used.

Specify clear operational policies for recording, retention, and access; and enforce strict disciplinary protocols for policy violations.

Make footage available to the public and the media upon request.

Prohibit officers from viewing footage before filing their reports.

One of the biggest questions is when the cameras will begin recording. Some say that as soon as an officer steps out of their car at a scene, the cameras need to be on.

“We want the sheriff to listen to us,” said SCLC communications director Ben Frazier. “We don’t want him to go through the routine and act like he’s listening. We want him to listen to our proposals and consider them on their merit.”

Frazier also said transparency is key in planning and implementation of the program in order to avoid problems.

“There a very good risk that these new devices could become instruments of injustice, rather than tools for accountability,” Frazier said.