Community members in Atlantic Beach, Florida, are helping a policeman recover after he was beaten unconscious Thursday.
“When the first officer arrived on the scene, they got engaged in a physical struggle with the suspect who knocked the officer unconscious,” the report said.
When a backup officer arrived, ABPD says the suspect said something to the effect of “you’re going to have to kill me” before approaching.
The officer gave verbal commands to the suspect to stop his approach and ABPD says the suspect tried to reach for the officer’s gun. The officer then fired one round at the suspect, who fell to the ground and continued to be combative before he was taken to a nearby hospital.
The suspect, 19-year-old Jaden Perkins, faced an attempted murder charge and his bond was set at $750,000, according to News 4 Jax.
When they heard about the incident, neighbors in the close-knit beach town wanted to show their appreciation for the officer, so resident Marisa Carbone set up a GoFundMe page for him.
“This downed officer is a 27-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office who took a job in Atlantic Beach after retirement. Let’s show this officer we appreciate the job he and his colleagues do every day,” the website read.
As of Sunday, the page had raised $20,758 of its $1,000 goal.
“When you hear of an officer down, that’s a big deal. And I just want to help,” Carbone said, adding that her neighbors liked to think of themselves as a community.
“So when something bad happens, we all try to rally around and try to help,” she continued.
Later, the ABPD said it received a flood of cards, flowers, and cookies from well-wishers and thanked everyone for their support.
“Our injured officer is now home and recovering, he will undergo facial reconstructive surgery next week. Prayers are much appreciated,” the department wrote on Facebook.
It was anticipated that the policeman would recover, but it would be a while before he could return to work, according to Chief Victor Gualillo.
“He is a great officer. He has been an asset to us, for sure. He’s had plenty of time on the street and knows what he’s doing,” he concluded.