Deputy Yells ‘Shots fired!’ After Acorn Falls, Proceeds to Unload on Cuffed Suspect in Squad Car

Current Events This Week

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

In a bizarre case of misjudgment, Deputy Jesse Hernandez of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office resigned following a shocking incident where he opened fire on a handcuffed suspect in his patrol car. The incident, which unfolded on November 12, 2023, began with a seemingly routine call about a stolen vehicle, leading to the detainment of suspect Marquis Jackson.

Early that morning, Ms. Celestiana Lopez reported her vehicle stolen by Jackson, her boyfriend. She also shared threatening text messages and a photo, seemingly showing a suppressor on a weapon, causing heightened concern among the responding officers. Hernandez, along with Sgt. Beth Roberts and other deputies, responded to the scene. Jackson was promptly detained without resistance and placed in Hernandez’s squad car.

The situation spiraled out of control when an acorn fell on the roof of Hernandez’s patrol car. Mistaking it for a suppressed gunshot, Hernandez reacted hastily. Believing he was under attack and possibly shot — “I’m hit! I’m hit,” he yelled — he began firing at his own vehicle, where Jackson was cuffed in the backseat. Sgt. Roberts, responding to Hernandez’s “shots fired” calls, also opened fire, equally convinced of an ongoing threat.

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Bodycam footage revealed the chaos and confusion of the moment. Hernandez, after falling to the ground, believing himself to be hit, fired multiple shots into his vehicle. Meanwhile, Roberts, who was working an overtime shift and had been under significant stress due to recent departmental incidents, also discharged her weapon, believing Hernandez was in immediate danger.

Surprisingly, Jackson survived the shooting unscathed, protected by the vehicle’s built structure. This incident raised severe questions about the deputies’ training and judgment, especially regarding Hernandez, who had mistaken the benign sound of an acorn for gunfire. The report indicated that both Hernandez and Roberts were up to date with their training, but this incident clearly showcased a disastrous lapse in judgment.

Hernandez, a graduate of West Point, a former infantry officer and special forces officer with ten years in the army (but with no direct combat experience), resigned while under investigation, shaken by the incident and its aftermath. The report delved into the psychological impact of the event, the stressors involved, and the potential factors leading to such a severe misjudgment.

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The investigation also shed light on the challenges law enforcement officers face in high-stress situations and the potential consequences of snap decisions. The incident, fortunately, did not result in loss of life but left a blemish on the Sheriff’s Office’s record and highlighted the need for continuous assessment and improvement in law enforcement training and protocols.

In the aftermath, the Sheriff’s Office faced public scrutiny and calls for reform, especially in its response protocols and mental health support for deputies. This incident serves as a somber reminder of the fine line officers walk between quick response and overreaction, with potentially life-altering consequences for all involved.

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  • James Richards March 8, 2024, 8:37 am

    Come On Guns America, don’t Join the Word Police if it’s not a Four Letter word!

  • James Richards March 8, 2024, 8:35 am

    Well the Perp was a Scumbag, and threatened His GF with a Weapon. He was more than likely a prohibited person as well.

  • Joe March 5, 2024, 5:48 pm

    Hmmmm, “velly interestIng” as Sgt Schultlz would say.
    LEO’s today have a different perspective of what surrounds them during heightened emotional situations…They don’t want to get shot! And neither would I. However, to start unloading your carry at a “sound”, seems a bit to be too much of an adrenalin rush and unload on your unit. Observe your position, surroundings, and then deploy.

  • T Halp March 1, 2024, 7:53 am

    Get that acorn !
    Time to find another line of work.

  • Dano February 22, 2024, 1:20 pm

    Anyone else notice the mag dump trend lately? The training I got was take cover if possible, assess, identity the threat and make an aimed response.
    Countless cases now where LEOs are just drawing and mag dumping in the general direction of a perceived threat. Is this a training issue, a hiring standards issue or just the fact that high capacity is the norm?
    My first four duty guns were revolvers before we went to Glocks.
    Back then you better by God have a defined target and sights on.
    Maybe they need their high capacity ray guns taken away. They’re even shooting through their own windshields while in motion. Rounds going everywhere. And their bosses defend them.

  • JD February 20, 2024, 11:45 am

    I am thinking the two police officers were shooting towards each other? A ricochet off the side of the police car could have indeed caused one of them to yell I’m hit. But by whom was the shot fired from? I am not PD or have any extra special training but I know a shot from a pistol at any kind of range can be highly inaccurate. I think it might be best to roll or run away for cover instead to stay in the open firing back. Did they have a clear target to fire back at or were just spraying bullets? I did see traffic passing on a side street. Bullets were flying. I have read numerous articles saying you are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun. were these officers under the same rules?

  • STEVEN CHRISTENSEN February 19, 2024, 8:49 pm

    Anyone else see what appears to be a photo shopped blurred out squirl in the tree on a branch above the car in video screen frame? ( How long before it’s removed now that it’s been pointed out?!) Not to mention this isnt even the actual neighborhood (?) or car in the occurrence.

  • STEVEN CHRISTENSEN February 19, 2024, 8:47 pm

    Anyone else see what appears to be a photo shopped blurred out squirl in the tree on a branch above the car in video screen frame? ( How long before it’s removed now that it’s been pointed out?!) Not to mention this isnt even the actual neighborhood or car in the occurrence. Our finest reporting, this site is becoming a fast joke!!!

  • STEVEN CHRISTENSEN February 19, 2024, 8:40 pm

    So, suspect is handcuffed and secured in the car, presumably after having been dearmed and searched.”Shots fired.” “I’m hit” Hmmm….. trained law enforecement AND military background. This is our finest???What a joke.

  • Jerry February 19, 2024, 11:21 am

    Note to p.p.k.; statement should be ammended to insert “certain” before “women, and extended to include “certain men” as well.

  • Henry F. Martin February 19, 2024, 10:40 am

    Everybody`s dumping on the male cop for dumping a mag on the cop car , how about the female sargeant? She should be fired too ,because she mag dumped too.

  • ppuck64 February 19, 2024, 10:17 am

    Officer Roberts did what she was supposed to do. Officer Hernandez, on the other hand, needs to find a job somewhere as a bag boy, something more suitable to his abilities. What a moron.

  • Peter Pichet Kullavanijaya February 19, 2024, 8:03 am

    It’s clear that women should not be engaged in certain professions. I firmly believe that she became an Infantry Officer and also Special Forces Officer in order to meet “quota” for Affirmative Action purposes. It does not mean that she is qualify for anything. It’s clear enough that she isn’t qualify to be a US Army Officer, let alone a Police Officer. She should be better served in an Administrative role. Since she is a West Point graduate, like most West Pointers, she should have an Engineering Degree. Maybe she should try her hands at Engineering instead of handling firearms, and risking other people’s lives.

    • Peter Pichet Kullavanijaya February 19, 2024, 8:10 am

      My mistake. The officer is a man. Everything I mentioned about women I retract. So sorry to all the women I have offended.

  • Dick Baynes February 19, 2024, 7:40 am

    I have carried concealed for over 50 years – ex-police officer – ex-military. a few years ago, at 72 years of age, I took a Defensive Pistol course that after the first 8 hours (40+hour course) I realized I didn’t have a clue what I was doing…as it turned out the institute where I took the course also trained “seasoned” police officers…for the most part they too found out that their skills and training were sorely lacking. Today at nearly 76 years old, I carry confidently…I highly recommend an intense training in a shoot house with Simunition – Part of that awesome training was knowing, as the song goes, when to walk away and when to run…not always the best move to draw and shoot.

  • Glen Healey February 18, 2024, 11:34 am

    Cop’s have a very hard job and most do it very well. Not all are cut out to be Police Officers no matter how much training they receive. This guy doesn’t belong behind a badge. The Second Officer did her job how she was trained. It was stupid and he resigned the city or county government will pay out a Hugh settlement. Again it’s not the Gun it’s the person behind the gun.

  • Bob February 18, 2024, 9:00 am

    “Hernandez, a graduate of West Point, a former infantry officer and special forces officer with ten years in the army (but with no direct combat experience)”
    That about says it all – occifer. Now that he’s resigned, he can sit around and wait for the lawsuits.

    • SquirrelSlayer February 19, 2024, 11:46 am

      “but with no direct combat experience”
      Perhaps if they had been in “direct combat” they would have known the difference between an acorn falling and being struck by gunfire!

  • Jim February 17, 2024, 2:09 pm

    Officer Hernandez not only shouted “Shots fired!”, he also yelled, “I’m hit”. Roberts, hearing both yelled comments, did what any other officer would do. I hate to see officer Roberts investigated in the aftermath. While she may have had some stressful hours prior to the incident, she did what any officer would likely do.

    I am also concerned how an “infantry officer, and special forces officer”, with ten years experience, mistakes an actor for gunshot. Though he had never been in combat, such training will familiarize any qualified person to the sound of incoming fire. While not all infantry soldiers see combat, it is a nagging question for me…”why did he never see combat?” For a man to confuse the sound of a falling acorn with the sound of shots fired, even suppressed, there might be a reason he was never put into a combat situation. Just fyi, for those who would feel an impulse to “educate” me, I did a year in VN, 11B, 25th Infantry, and have well-earned combat awards, so I am not guessing about things I have no idea about.

  • Steven Marcus February 17, 2024, 12:28 pm

    It sounds like that girlfriend really wasn’t all that angry at her boyfriend for stealing her car, after all. She’s screaming like a banshee after the shooting incident and frankly, should be arrested for causing a public disturbance and damaging eardrums of everyone who watched this tiresome video…

    On a serious note, Deputy Hernandez is going to be re-living this incident every day of his life, even if he does get psychological/psychiatric therapy once a week. I feel sorry for him…

  • Bob W February 17, 2024, 11:33 am

    All I can say is “What a fucking idiot!” Too bad the video didn’t show them opening up the door to the police car and the bad guy saying “Dudes, what the fuck?” Just shows how some people are in the wrong line of work. Can’t believe this asshole was an officer in the Army. Thank God he was never one of my officers when I was in the Army.

  • Hondo February 17, 2024, 7:33 am

    Fire and prosecute that clown, none of that needed to happen if procedure was fallowed.

  • O Bloody Hell February 16, 2024, 11:37 pm

    I have to say, that must have been one mofo loud acorn if the officer thought it was a “shot” — suppressors don’t actually work like they do in the movies. If he could not tell the difference therein lies a major hole in his training.

    • Bob February 18, 2024, 9:03 am

      He was supposed to have had SF training, which would involve a LOT of suppressor training.
      This gomer was just touching the bases, collecting little ribbons and the like, while he breezed through the ranks.
      The legs thing? Probably trauma from the enormous pee pressure he suddenly experienced.

  • Jack Jones February 16, 2024, 8:39 pm

    That is the biggest problem with law enforcement. I don’t know if it is in their training, or something that is missing from their training. As soon as a cop fires one shot, every cop on scene opens up. They have no idea what happened, they just start shooting.
    Watch a video on the local news in Tulsa, OK. Saw it in 2023, but think it was from 2022.
    They had a guy with a big knife surrounded, but were about 60-70 feet back from my estimation. Guy was wearing jeans, nothing else. No shirt no shoes. Was obviously acting erratic. Drugs/alcohol/mental, they didn’t say. Anyway, at some point, guy throws knife at cop. Lands halfway between him and said cop. All but one open fire. Cop that had knife thrown at him empties gun, and is trying to put in a new magazine while cop that didn’t shoot (lead on scene?) is telling them to cease fire and has to tap the first shooter on the arm to get his attention. Yes, guy is dead.
    The dead, is, of course, now unarmed. No charges or reprimands, repeat training etc. determined to be required.

  • Randy February 16, 2024, 7:04 pm

    Not only should they lose their jobs they should lose Everything they have, homes, cars, pensions any money they have they should be brought up on criminal charges. No wonder people want to Defund these Idiots.

    • Walleye February 19, 2024, 10:48 am

      Lighten up Francis…. People make mistakes.

      Resigning was the right thing for him to do, and now this former officer can get the counseling he needs and possibly transition to another profession.

      If cops lost everything for each serious mistake they made, there would be no more brave men or women to raise their hand and sign up for these dangerous and thankless jobs.


  • Flash Bang February 16, 2024, 6:39 pm

    “Only the police should have guns! They’re the only people with the training!” Lol. And I speak as a nearly 30 year police officer.

  • Allen Williamson February 16, 2024, 5:52 pm

    As a former cop I just gotta ask. WTF? I’m hit, I’m hit. Suppressed? Too much left wing news BS? In the academy we had an exercise where the passenger would shoot at you with cotton swab from a revolver driven by a primer. Yes I know that was a long time ago. But they were wet which hurt like hell but vey good training. A guy went up and did the traffic stop and she shot him right smack in the chest. I wore my vest but he didn’t. He dropped like he was dead. He didn’t move or anything, so she leaned out and gave him five more in the same spot. Ouch. But apparently it woke his ass up and he then acted appropriately. He said that he had in his mind that you die when shot. So he did. He learned that day that you dont and it could’ve saved his life. But you’d think that a SF guy would know this but I guess not. And the Sgt acted as she should. Protect her partner. Wild.

  • John Boutwell February 16, 2024, 5:35 pm

    Many officers are not cut out to be cops

  • Richard Wayne February 16, 2024, 5:28 pm

    Sounds like something off Reno 911, fun fact: it takes longer, and more training to become a hairdresser than a police officer in this country.

  • Steve L February 16, 2024, 1:41 pm

    So…… how do they know for sure he heard an “ acorn” fall and hiit the car?
    Also- what did he feel that hit him and made his legs go weak and fall to the ground?
    Yes the suspect was detained and cuffed in the car-but in a situation like that- there is a possibility he wasn’t secured( cuffed) correctly and managed to get free- if your an officer on scene- you hav to remember that ANYTHING is possible!
    As for the female officer- she was acting on the real time info she had- another officer saying shots fired and her reaction was to act to protect him and the civilians in that neighborhood. Also remember the girlfriend showed cops pictures of his gun with what they all thought to be a silencer affixed! When there’s a suspect who presumably shoots a cop ( again based on what she saw and heard) you can assume he’ll shoot anyone else- probably even the “ girlfriend” who reported him in the first place.
    There has to be more to this than “ he heard an acorn and overreacted”

    • bob February 18, 2024, 9:06 am

      It’s a coward’s natural reaction…

    • John Boutwell February 18, 2024, 3:13 pm

      Don’t be the asshat that excuses that behavior!

  • ROBERT L MC NALLY February 16, 2024, 12:30 pm

    And now for the winner of this year’s “Barney Fife Award”……Rob

    • Tip Tover February 19, 2024, 9:12 am

      You are correct but I honestly think even Barney would have handles this situation better. At least he only had 1 round.

  • bob smith February 16, 2024, 12:19 pm


    • Bob W February 17, 2024, 11:38 am

      The asshole never saw combat. Maybe PTSD from his mommy taking away his iPad when he was a bad boy.

  • DaGunBunny February 16, 2024, 11:59 am

    He thought it was a suppressed gun shot…loser got spooked. High strung people make lousy police and military.

  • JIM February 16, 2024, 11:56 am

    I know some cops get into stressful situations. Hernandez made a knee jerk reaction to what he thought was “A” shot fired. IF he had followed procedure and searched this guy, then cuffed him with his hands behind his back, what made him even remotely think that he had a suppressed gun?
    OH that’s right they were showed a text and picture that seemingly showing a suppressor on a weapon,
    Then open fire on his patrol car. Even worse was Roberts open fire on the car with Hernandez in the middle of the street.
    Hernandez reacted to fast, if anything he should have ran for cover. Or are they taught to just fire where they thought the shot came from..
    Every one can sit here and play Monday morning quarterback, me included. BUT, we were not there!!!!
    So let us not pass judgement!!

    • O Bloody Hell February 16, 2024, 11:40 pm

      Nope. There are reasonable expectations. Suppose there had been a civilian on the street behind the vehicle? Would the officer have presumed that they were the ones who “fired the shot”? And no, suppressors do not work like they do in the movie. That had to be one godawful loud acorn to have seemed to be a “suppressed shot” to the officer — or the officer has been watching too damned many movies and not actually heard a real suppressed shot from a gun, suggesting one significant training improvement, easily provided.

      • bob February 18, 2024, 9:08 am

        An officer in SF should know the sound of suppressed fire better than his mother’s voice.

  • Trevor Teague February 16, 2024, 11:53 am

    Hood rats are so damn stupid. Calls the cops: “He’s violent, he threatened me, he stole my car, I want him gone…” “NO NO NO!!! DON’T SHOOT HIM! HE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!!”

  • jon Schroeder February 16, 2024, 11:19 am

    Car 54 where are you?

    • Kane February 16, 2024, 11:41 am

      At Green Acres.

  • MOUAFFAC AMBRISS February 16, 2024, 11:04 am

    This is a common issue observed with some law enforcement agencies in the United States—they tend to act hastily and resort to the use of firearms without proper assessment of the situation. I distinctly recall a video depicting Italian police officers facing a scenario where a suspect held a knife to a victim’s throat, threatening her life. Despite being in close proximity and having the opportunity to take a shot, the Italian officers chose to de-escalate the situation through dialogue, ultimately apprehending the suspect without any fatalities.

    The training protocol for many US police officers appears inadequate, prioritizing swift action over thoughtful consideration and de-escalation techniques. Law enforcement personnel should be extensively trained to navigate high-stress situations with composure and exercise sound judgment regarding firearm use. Moreover, individuals aspiring to join law enforcement should do so with the primary motive of preserving lives, placing the safety of others above their own. Those lacking the willingness to make such sacrifices should reconsider pursuing a career in law enforcement.

  • Rouge1 February 16, 2024, 11:02 am

    That called bonehead by fake news? If I did it I would be in prison. I guess most Americans love the banana republic police state.

  • Chris Stevens February 16, 2024, 10:24 am

    It would have been nice to have the location of this incident listed in the text of the article rather than having to wade through 17 minutes of video.

  • Joe Dirt February 16, 2024, 9:46 am

    I feel like I just watched a Reno 911 episode. Even they would have responded better than this :0

  • Gordon Bracey February 16, 2024, 9:15 am

    Suspect searched, handcuffed with his hands behind his back and placed in his empty locked patrol car.
    Both officers still thought he had a suppressed weapon on his person and was firing at them. Both should be fired.

  • Mikial February 16, 2024, 8:24 am

    I know someone already said it, but it bears repeating. The suspect had been searched and was in restraints in the back of the police car. The article doesn’t even tell us if a gun was found, suppressed or otherwise, but how in the world did Hernandez think he was being shot at with a suppressed firearm? That’s not a training issue, that’s an intelligence issue.

    • Charles Surratt February 16, 2024, 9:05 am

      Looks like he’s on the same level as the dumbass deputies in Colorado when they let the train hit the cop car they parked on the railroad tracks (how stupid). I guess they figured it being a marked cop car the train would stop for it. Yeah, the train finally did stop; a ways down the tracks.

    • bob smith February 16, 2024, 12:21 pm

      And that’s exactly why he was a westpoint graduate, they crank out nothing but the best nowadays! only those type support biden and the us governments mission of destroying america

      • bob February 18, 2024, 9:10 am

        Qualified? We don’t care if you’re qualified so long as you’re woke…. and willing to be a good little gestapo agent.

  • Gmc February 16, 2024, 8:22 am

    Graduate of West Point…special forces officer….is that supposed to impress anyone or make a difference? Agree with Dustin, I am guessing that the suspect was searched and handcuffed prior to being put in the patrol car…..right?

    How about hiring officers with common sense / street sense.

  • JD February 16, 2024, 8:02 am

    Wow! Wow! How can anyone say the Average Citizen cannot have a gun because they are nowhere near as well trained as police officers? Can you remember the guy on his knees in a Mesa Arizona motel hallway pleading don’t shoot just before he was shot and killed?

    • Rouge1 February 16, 2024, 11:05 am

      Jurry found officer not culpable and innocent. Arizona is almost blue.

    • Bob February 18, 2024, 9:12 am

      I remember watching a video of that murder. Absolute insanity… and abject cowardice.

      Remember the execution scene from the Green Mile? With the dry sponge? That’s our boy, right there.

  • Michael J. Merriman February 16, 2024, 7:49 am

    Sounds like Jesse Hernandez may be related to Captain (formally Lieutenant) Michael Byrd. I’m sure the US Capitol has a place for Hernandez on their police force. Why they may have even given him a promotion for firing on an unarmed suspect.

  • Kevin C Young February 16, 2024, 7:35 am

    Is it the quality of people that get hired for LEOs these days or the deplorable training?
    In pt saint Lucie a “hero” state trooper recently caused an incident that not only caused his death but also a semi tractor trailer driver as well. The trooper decided to to do a U-turn in the south bound lanes of I-95 into the path of the semi, killing himself and the truck driver.
    Of course the trooper got a hero’s funeral while the truck driver hasn’t even been named. They even clogged the streets for a while to escort the trooper’s body from the medical examiner’s to the funeral home. And of course the local butt kissing media played along.

    • Big Al 45 February 16, 2024, 9:36 am

      Your bias is clear, and your story is non analogous. All people are human, and humans make mistakes. The Trooper made a mistake, but not by being in a panic as in the article. Must be nice to be so perfect as you. Except for your lack of empathy that is.

      • Rouge1 February 16, 2024, 11:08 am

        If you made that mistake you would be in prison. Many do like our two tiered system though.

        • Big Al 45 February 16, 2024, 12:41 pm

          ????? What are YOU talking about? The original article? I was commenting on the reply by Kevin C Young. His comparison of the Trooper in his story to the article was totally unrelated, as in NOT analogous. Its irritating, the lack of reading and comprehension skills today. LOL!

      • Kevin C Young February 16, 2024, 11:17 pm

        Was it the quality of the people or the deplorable training? Both cases.
        I wonder how much empathy you will have after the taxpayers have to pony up,in the case of the murdered truck driver, possibly hundreds of $millions. It wasn’t the guy fleeing who murdered the truck driver.

      • Kevin C Young February 16, 2024, 11:28 pm

        BTW, I do have empathy for the truck driver’s survivors. I’m sure that you think that my empathy is misplaced though. Don’t you?

      • Sterling Alexander Hawkins February 17, 2024, 12:02 am

        That’s what his years of training are for. If you don’t know if you have a bullet hole in you or not, there’s something mentally wrong there.

      • Kevin C Young February 17, 2024, 10:06 am

        Where is your empathy for the truck driver? I believe he was murdered, but not by the guy who was fleeing the trooper.

        • bob February 18, 2024, 9:16 am

          The arrogance of state troopers is not only universally recognized, but far beyond sanity.

          Tell your buddies in the barracks when you go back on “duty”

      • bob February 18, 2024, 9:15 am

        The arrogance of state troopers is not only universally recognized, but far beyond sanity.

        Tell your buddies in the barracks when you go back on “duty”

      • Dano February 22, 2024, 1:23 pm

        Mag dumps are panic. Nnot in any training I ever received.
        An alarming trend.

  • Dustin Connor February 16, 2024, 7:34 am

    You patted down the suspect, handcuffed him, and put him in a vehicle. I mean I know cops are dumb, but this is unreal.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment February 16, 2024, 4:04 am

    thats just plain nuts……..
    good for the suspect they were bad shots!

    • bob February 18, 2024, 9:17 am

      Good for the subject that these guys ride around in mini-APCs

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