Derrick Brabham was identified as the man accused of shooting two Jacksonville, Florida police officers in an alcohol-fueled domestic violence situation.
The 25-year-old Brabham was shot by police and killed in the incident. The officers are in stable condition. They were among six U.S. police officers who were shot in three different cities in under a two-hour span on August 18. Two officers shot in Kissimmee, Florida, died from their wounds. Two officers shot in Fairchance, Pennsylvania, are also listed in stable condition.
A Facebook page in Brabham’s name was filled with posts about the KKK, racism, police shootings, Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump, and depression. “I wanna say black lives matter but I don’t feel like mine does,” a 2016 post on the page read. However, police have alleged the shootings sparked because of an alcohol-laden domestic violence situation, not political motive.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Officers Were Shot With a High-Powered Rifle When They Responded to a Call About a Suicidal Subject
On Friday evening around 10:50 p.m., the two officers, Michael Fox and Kevin Jarrell, were shot in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jacksonville, Florida Sheriff’s Department initially tweeted, “Two police officers shot: Westside of #Jacksonville.” Police said in a news briefing that the officers were shot with a high-powered rifle through a door when they arrived at the scene.
According to the JSO briefing given by Mike Bruno on August 18, officers were dispatched to an attempted suicide call where there were “three additional victims inside the house that had retreated to a back bedroom for their safety. While the officers were en route, the suspect armed himself with a high-powered rifle.” The officers, who were in a group of four-five, could hear gunfire coming from the house. They formed a contact team. They thought it was an active shooter situation inside the house, so they approached the house, the media spokesperson for police said.
As they approached the house and attempted to enter one of the doorways, “the suspect began shooting through the door at the officers.” There was an exchange of gunfire. During that exchange of gunfire, two officers were struck by bullets, as was the suspect. One officer was struck in both hands, and the other officer was shot in his stomach with the rifle fire, said authorities.
“He engaged the officers before they made entry into the house,” Bruno said of the suspect.
2. Brabham Had No Criminal History But a Close Range Gun Battle Erupted
“The officers were called out to a report of an attempted suicide and threats to harm other individuals inside the home,” the police chief Mike Williams said during a news briefing on August 19, according to FirstCoastNews. The three other people inside the house were not injured.
The suspect had no criminal history, police said. However, there is a photo that appears to be the suspect holding a gun on a MySpace page that bears his name.
One officer was later listed as being in critical condition, one was in stable condition, and the suspect was dead. “We thought we had an active shooter type situation,” the media spokesperson explained. On August 19, the officers were both listed in stable condition.
“We are talking a gun battle within four or five feet of each other,” Williams said of what ensued. “So, the suspect fired at the officers. Two officers were struck and the suspect in the exchange was struck twice.”
3. The Police Spokesman Said the Shooting Highlights the ‘Inherent Dangers of Police Work’
Police in Jacksonville – as with those in Kissimmee – said the shootings highlight the dangerous nature of police work.
“We often talk about the inherent dangers of police work, but tonight those dangers were all too real for these police officers. As they were approaching the house, they knew they were staring danger in the face, and yet they moved forward to meet their commitment they held and that they swore to take for this community,” Bruno said.
The department requested prayers for the officers.
4. A Page in Brabham’s Name on Facebook Is Filled With Writings About Racism, Black Lives Matter, Charlottesville & Depression
On Facebook, a page in Derrick Brabham’s name showed despair about many things, including Charlottesville and racism. A relative who identified herself as his aunt shared multiple of Brabham’s posts from the page on August 19. She also wrote, “A young man I know is no longer here. My whole family is sadden (sic) by his death. My question today is this; ‘Are you ready’?”
One of the posts she shared from the page read, “If you’re voting for Donald J Trump you are either partisan, racist, stupid or not paying attention….. If you feel differently please let me know why in the comments and please don’t say no stupid shit like he will make America great again…..”
On August 18, the morning of the day the shootings occurred, the page shared a post that read, “Dear KKK, Can y’all have your next rally in Jacksonville, FL on moncrief??? I’m trying to see something.” A post on August 13 showed a Confederate flag being burned. The page shared posts about how exhausting it is to live with racism every day and arguing Trump is “gaming the system.”
A 2016 post on the page read, “I think if I didn’t pull it on this (N word racial slur) I would have put it on myself.” Some posts show despair. One read, “Hello walls, hello ceiling, no ones home and I’m feeling….” and “I’m tried (sic) of the bullshit and the problems behind it, lucky I don’t remember you’re name or your would die behind this, I need to take this out on something…..” and “should have killed him for you like you wanted…..”
The page also shared a lengthy post from Reddit that explained Black Lives Matter by saying in part, “Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase ‘black lives matter’ also has an implicit ‘too’ at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying ‘all lives matter’ is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying ‘all lives matter’ as a direct response to ‘black lives matter’ is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.”
5. Four Other Officers Were Shot, in Kissimmee & Pennsylvania
August 18 was an awful night for Florida law enforcement and American policing in general. Six police officers were shot in three different incidents in Florida and in Pennsylvania.
In Kissimmee, the two officers, Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter, died. The police chief said they were ambushed after approaching a group of suspicious people, and never got a round off. Police accuse Everett Glenn Miller, a former Marine, of doing the shooting. He’s in custody.
In Pennsylvania, the state troopers, who were not identified, were conducting a burglary investigation when they tried to restrain the suspect who allegedly shot them both. That suspect, Clarence Belsar, was killed at the scene.
You can learn more about the other shootings here: