Jacksonville official shoots suspect with butcher knife

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office released body camera footage from a February 2020 shootout involving a man who was shot dead by a police officer after investigators said he threatened the officer with a butcher’s knife.

John Robert Ritter, 39, was shot dead after police said he tried to rob a shop on Trout River Boulevard. Investigators said there was a police chase and that a stun gun was used, but it did not immobilize the suspect. Investigators said Officer T. Davis fired a shot and Ritter was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

The district attorney decided that the Jacksonville official’s actions were justified.

(Viewer is recommended at their discretion. The body camera video is shown below. Some may find the footage artwork.)

The camera material worn on his body shows an officer chasing knights outside the grocery store and following him towards a wooded area. The officer repeatedly asks Ritter to put the knife down. It shows how he triggers his taser, which the police report is unsuccessful. Ritter seems to be wearing a t-shirt to avoid being stunned.


“Put the knife down. Put the knife down, ”says the officer.

“You better shoot me. You’d better shoot me, ”replies Ritter.

The officer again asks the man to put the knife down, and Ritter says again: “Shoot me.”

A shot is fired from the officer’s weapon and hits Ritter, the sheriff’s office originally reported. Backup arrived at the scene and Knight was handcuffed, which is JSO policy. A unit gives help to Ritter.

In addition to posting the bodycam, JSO also posted a video in which another officer explains the officer’s actions in the bodycam video.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Ritter was recovering and was convicted of burglary and aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer. Court records confirm that he received a 10-year prison sentence.


Justice Department records show that Ritter was serving a term behind bars for burglary, aggravated injury, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and trafficking in stolen property. Police records show arrests dating back to 2003.

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