Alleged Florida cop shooter has history of weapons, assault arrests, records show

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The man accused of shooting and critically injuring a Florida police officer late Wednesday night has a lengthy arrest history, including for aggravated assault and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and he previously served time in a county jail, state criminal records show. 

Othal Wallace, 29, is accused of shooting a 26-year-old Daytona Beach police officer in the head just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, while he was responding to a report of a “suspicious incident.” 

The officer, who has not been identified, remains hospitalized for his critical injuries. Investigators are now offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading them to Wallace, who appears to be no stranger to the criminal justice system. 

Criminal records obtained by Fox News show a person with the same name and age as Wallace was charged on at least 15 occasions since 2012, though the charges were later dropped at least two of those times. It was not clear if he had been arrested any time prior to 2012. 

Wallace was charged in November 2012 with failure to appear in court, and on multiple occasions in 2013 with driving with a suspended license — for which he was deemed a “habitual offender,” according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement records. 

He was sentenced to six months of probation in December, just months after he allegedly tried to flee from police during an attempted traffic stop, and then allegedly resisted an officer without violence, records show. 

But in February 2014, two months after his probation had begun, he was arrested for allegedly violating it. He was arrested again in April for violating conditional release, records show. 

Othal Wallace and the vehicle he is believed to be driving (Daytona Beach Police)

That June, Wallace was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, according to the records. Wallace also appears to have been charged with trespassing around that time, and a charge was later added for improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon.

He was convicted in November 2015 and sentenced in May 2017 to four months and 20 days in county jail. 

Wallace’s arrest history also includes an aggravated battery with a deadly weapon offense from January 2018, though no action was taken, records show. The reason for the decision was not specified. 

He was also accused of aggravated battery of a pregnant person in February 2017 and battery related to a domestic incident in December 2018, though the charges were “dropped/abandoned” in both instances. 

On Thursday, Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said the officer approached Wallace as he sat in a gray Honda HR-V and was shot while “escorting him out of the car.” 

A spokesperson for the department would not provide Fox News with any more details on Friday as for the reason for the police response to the area. 

Young said more than 500 officers from various agencies had responded to help find Wallace, who officials said may have fled to the Atlanta area.

A search of an apartment near the shooting location revealed a rifle, numerous boxes of ammunition, a handgun, several high-capacity magazines and three ballistic vests, Young said. It wasn’t clear what Wallace’s connection to the apartment and the weapons might be.

“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” the chief said.

Police also released body-camera footage of the officer approaching the vehicle, from which Wallace emerges. As the officer instructs Wallace to sit in the car and asks him if he lives at the location, Wallace continues toward him, asking, “What’s going on?”

“Can you sit down? I’ll talk to you,” the officer says, seemingly calmly. 

Wallace responds, “Come on now. Don’t do this,” as he continues asking questions. 

A struggle appears to ensue before a gunshot can be heard in the background seconds later. 

Police have released images of Wallace and the vehicle he appears to be driving. Authorities are expected to hold a news conference at 5 p.m. local time.

Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report, as well as The Associated Press. 

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