Police said officers were forced to shoot a former pro football player after he held his on-and-off-again girlfriend at knifepoint and pressed the knife to her chest early Wednesday morning in Daytona Beach.
Once an athlete looking forward to a promising NFL career, Jermaine Green is now fighting for his life at Halifax Hospital after officers responding to a domestic dispute call shot him at a home on the 800 block of Magnolia Avenue.
Green, 32, is a former running back who graduated from Spruce Creek High School in 1999. He went on to play football for Washington State and signed with the New York Giants in 2004, but returned to Volusia County after he was cut from the team before the start of the 2004 season.
Witnesses who live in the neighborhood said Green was staying at the home, owned by Clinton Henry, the father of Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry.
Three Daytona Beach Police officers arrived at the home around 2:45 a.m. Monday after receiving a call about a fight involving a knife. They said the front door was locked, but they kicked it open after they heard a woman screaming.
Inside, the officers said they found Green holding a knife to Katrina Johnson, 37. The officers had their weapons drawn and told Green to drop the knife.
Instead, police said Green threw Johnson to a bed and began to press the blade of the knife against her chest. That was when two of the three officers fired several shots, hitting Green multiple times. Johnson was also shot once in the arm, according to a report from the scene.
Both Green and Johnson were transported to Halifax Hospital. Green was in critical condition, police said.
"It is unbelievable," Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said following the incident. "In 26 years of law enforcement, I have to tell you: I've watched it at least 10 times already. I'm very, very proud of the way the officers acted. I'm grateful that nobody lost their life in this incident."
Chitwood said Green is a former running back who was designated by the Giants as waived/injured before he even got a chance to play.
Helen Harper, Green's aunt, said he's respected in the neighborhood as a former Spruce Creek High School football star.
"Jermaine is a good boy, [but] you don't mess with him," said Harper. "You miss with him, he goes wild. He's got a temper, but he's a good boy."
"We could have been watching him in the NFL instead of getting shot by the police," said Kenderick Tillmon, a friend of Green's. "He could have been in the NFL and had a promising career."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has begun investigating the shooting, a standard procedure in Florida whenever an officer fires their weapon.
Chitwood said the two officers who fired on Green were wearing lapel cameras, but added that video would not be released until after the investigation is over.
The officers, who were not immediately identified, were placed on administrative leave per Daytona Beach Police Department policy.