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Trooper shoots robbery suspect

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Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2006
in the Pensacola News-Journal

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper shot a Pensacola man in the abdomen Monday morning after an attempted armed robbery at a pharmacy on Nine Mile Road, investigators said.

Lt. Roley Kiker of the Highway Patrol was assisting Escambia County deputies after the suspect crashed his vehicle.

Deputies had chased Cecil Jason Jernigan to the intersection of Greenbrier Boulevard and Guidy Lane after recognizing the car as one used in a getaway from Winn-Dixie, 312 E. Nine Mile Road, Sgt. Mike Ward of the Sheriff's Office said.

Jernigan, 31, lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road.

"He barged into the pharmacy with a weapon," Ward said. "Apparently it went bad, and he took off."

Investigators said a man they believe to be Jernigan had asked the pharmacist at Winn-Dixie for methadone. Upon hearing there was none, he jumped over the counter, struggled with the pharmacist, fired a shot and left in the car.

Winn-Dixie's manager and pharmacist declined comment. There were no reported injuries at the store.

Jernigan refused several times to give up his handgun when deputies and Kiker confronted him, Ward said. Witnesses reported that he pointed the gun at the trooper who then shot him at 10:55 a.m.

Jernigan was transported to West Florida Hospital by ambulance and was in fair condition Monday evening, the nursing supervisor said.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating the attempted robbery, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting by the trooper.

"Just so there's no bias, we step in to investigate the shooting itself," said Karen Mason, spokeswoman for FDLE's Pensacola region.

Jernigan had an outstanding warrant in Escambia County for grand theft of a firearm, armed burglary and petty theft that stemmed from an incident in March, according to the crime report.

"Day in and day out, we're confronted with these types of situations," said Lt. Steve Preston, spokesman for the Pensacola division of the Highway Patrol.


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