2 Suspects In Custody, 1 Sought After Police Officer Shot In Jaw - FOX 35 News Orlando

2 Suspects In Custody, 1 Sought After Police Officer Shot In Jaw

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Officer Justin Wilkers (Courtesy: Wilmington Police Dept.) Officer Justin Wilkers (Courtesy: Wilmington Police Dept.)

Authorities say the condition of a Wilmington police officer who was shot in the face Sunday during an attempted traffic stop has stabilized.

A bullet remains lodged in Officer Justin Wilkers' lower skull after he was shot in the jaw after a late-afternoon pursuit in the city's South Bridge section, police said at news conference Monday morning.

Police say they have two suspects in custody, are still seeking a third, and they are trying to sort out which of them was the shooter.

"We are very concerned about the violence in our city," Mayor Dennis P. Williams said at the news conference. "We are very concerned about the attack on our officers yesterday. That is pure, divine anarchy when you attack a uniformed police officer making a traffic stop in a marked police car. … We are not going to tolerate this."

The shooting happened around 3:50 p.m. Sunday after a white Chevy Equinox, spotted with an equipment violation at C and Buttonwood streets, led police on a pursuit that ended on the 1200 block of Peach Street.

Police said the car stopped, several people ran, and one of them shot Wilkers, who was attempting to get out of his cruiser.

The bullet struck Wilkers in the left jaw, and causing "significant damage," police said.

Wilkers was rushed in a police car to Wilmington Hospital, where he was stabilized and transported to Christiana Hospital. There, he was awaiting surgery Monday morning in serious but stable condition.

Wilkers has served three years with the department. He is married and has young children.

"Our collective hearts ache for our wounded brother, and we ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers," a police spokesman said.

Other officers pursued the car's fleeing occupants and captured two of them, identified as Jerrod Wiggins, 20, and Ronald Boyce, 21.

Wiggins, the driver, has been charged with failing to obey a police signal, resisting arrest and providing a false statement, police said. Boyce is charged with resisting arrest.

Still being sought is a third suspect, whose identity police were not yet releasing Monday morning.

"Investigators are currently evaluating evidence to determine which suspect or suspects actually shot Officer Wilkers," a police spokesman said.

Sunday's gunfire sent Peach Street residents ducking for cover.

The mayor said his administration has an "aggressive" crime-fighting plan that will be released soon, saying: "We will combat this crime. We will stop it. I'll guarantee you."

Williams then added, "When we do release this crime plan that we have and we start fighting crime more aggressively, there's some folks that probably aren't going to like our style. But that's too bad because our obligation is to protect the citizens of this city, and that's what we're going to do. I was given a mandate back in September and November – public safety – and that's exactly what we're going to do."

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