Othal Wallace is a Florida man accused of shooting a police officer in Daytona Beach. Wallace is on the run, police say, and authorities have offered a $100,000 reward. An unnamed 26-year-old officer was investigating a “suspicious incident” on June 23, 2021, when the Daytona Beach Police Department says he was shot in the head by Wallace.
The 29-year-old Wallace fled from the scene after the shooting and a “multi-agency manhunt,” was launched, police said. Wallace could be driving “a gray 2016 Honda HRV with a California tag of 7TNX532,” Daytona Beach Police said. Wallace is a member of the NFAC (the Not F****** Around Coalition), a Black militia, according to his Facebook profile, which is under the name O-Zone Wallace. He has a criminal record in Florida including domestic violence, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery on a pregnant person charges.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young told reporters at a press conference, “This entire county is on lockdown until we track this coward down. So I’m grateful for every agency that’s responded over here tonight to help us as they’re committed to staying out here until we get this coward in custody.”
The officer’s name has not been released yet. He has been an officer for three years. The Daytona Beach Police said, “Paramedics took the officer to Halifax Health Medical Center for treatment. He is now out of surgery and remains in critical condition. We are not releasing the officer’s identity at this time. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.” Young added in a tweet, “No change in the status of my hero who was shot in the line of duty last night. He’s fighting while all of us are praying 🙏🏾 The manhunt continues for the coward responsible for this.”
Police said, “Anyone with information on Wallace’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately. Anonymous tips can also be submitted online and through Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS (8477).”
Here’s what you need to know about Othal Wallace:
1. Bodycam Video Shows Wallace Getting Out of His Car & Talking to the Officer, Saying, ‘Why Are You Asking, ‘Do I Live Here?’ & ‘Don’t Do This’ Before Shooting Him During a Scuffle, Police Say
The Daytona Beach Police Department said in a Facebook post, “Tonight, one of our officers radioed that he was on Kingston Ave investigating a suspicious incident. After several minutes passed, the officer stopped responding to other units calling him on the radio. Officers responded to his location where he was found lying on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound.”
According to a press release, the officer was on a “proactive patrol” behind 133 Kingston Avenue about 9 p.m. before the shooting. According to Young, the officer “contacted a coward … and as he was escorting him out of the car, at some point, the suspect turns and shoots my officer one time in the head.” Police said other officers responded after the officer did not respond to radio calls.
Police released a 29-second portion of the body camera video recorded by the wounded officer. The video shows the officer approaching Wallace’s parked car as he is exiting it in a parking lot and asking, “How’s it going? Do you live here?” Wallace, who is standing up out of the car as the officer approaches, asks, “What’s going on?” The officer then says, “Sit down. Sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit, sit. Can you sit down? I’ll talk to you.” The officer then puts his hands on Wallace and continues telling him to sit.
Wallace can be heard saying, “Come on now. Come on now. Don’t do this. Why are you asking me, ‘Do I live here?’ What’s going on though?” The officer then begins to talk into his radio and Wallace puts his arm out towards him. The officer responds, “Stop, stop. Stop.” Wallace then pushes away and the video becomes obscured before a gunshot is heard and the officer falls to the ground.
Young told reporters the officer is “fighting for his life.” He added, “The surgery was fairly successful. He still has a long way to go.” Young told reporters, “This is a young kid and I highlight that because most officers (when wounded) you would see their wives or their kids respond to the hospital, it’s his mom in there. So that tells you where he is in his life.”
Young added, “This officer is 26 years old. Twenty-six years old. Behind me (in the hospital). Fighting for his life. Most of us are just starting to live at 26 years old. I am extremely heartbroken, especially because this particular cop, knowing him, if he were to pull through this, this cop would do everything in his power to get back on the job and continue serving the community. He would do so with zero hatred or malice in his heart.”
2. Wallace Was Arrested Multiple Times on Domestic Battery Charges, but Had Two Cases Dropped & the Other Deferred as Part of a Pre-Trial Intervention Agreement
Wallace has been arrested multiple times in Volusia County, Broward County and Brevard County dating back to 2012, according to online records obtained by Heavy. His most recent arrest was in 2019. There is no indication from a records search that Wallace has ever been convicted of a felony charge, so he was still able to be a legal gun owner.
In October 2019, Wallace was arrested in Volusia County on a misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge, according to court records. The charging documents show the victim was the mother of Wallace’s two children. Police said Wallace asked her to let him use her car and when she refused, he tried to grab her keys. According to police, the victim said Wallace then grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground. In November 2019, the county state attorney’s office elected to not file charges against Wallace for unknown reasons.
In July 2018, Wallace was charged with felony domestic battery in Volusia County, but the charge was later reduced to first-degree misdemeanor domestic battery by prosecutors. In that case, Wallace entered a deferred prosecution agreement in September 2018 and completed a pre-trial intervention program in August 2019.
In February 2017, Wallace was charged in Volusia County with aggravated battery on a pregnant person, burglary of an occupied dwelling and criminal mischief, but prosecutors dropped the charges a month later. According to court documents, Wallace was accused of grabbing the arm of the mother of his unborn child during an argument and scratching her near her bicep, causing cuts. Wallace was also accused of kicking down a door to the victim’s apartment after he had left because she would not let him come get a backpack he had forgotten, police said.
Wallace has other arrests in Volusia County on charges including driving with a canceled or revoked license, obstructing an officer without violence, habitual driving with a revoked license, fleeing or attempting to elude police, trespassing, criminal mischief and violating probation.
Wallace was arrested on a domestic violence warrant in Brevard County in 2018, records show, and on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and driving with a suspended license in Broward County, also in 2018.
3. Wallace Marched With the NFAC Militia in Louisville, Tulsa & Elsewhere & Recently Joined the New Black Panther Party
According to Wallace’s Facebook page, he is a member of the NFAC militia and has walked in armed marches with the group during protests in Louisville against the police killing of Breonna Taylor and in Tulsa. He also marched with the group at Stone Mountain in Georgia.
According to CNN, the all-Black militia group is based in Atlanta and was formed in 2017. The NFAC’s president, John Fitzgerald Johnson, also known as Grandmaster Jay, told CNN, “We’re not ‘effing’ around anymore with the continued abuses within our community and the lack of respect for our men, women and children. We are not against anyone.”
DePaul Professor Thomas Mockaitis told CNN, “In one sense it (NFAC) echoes the Black Panthers but they are more heavily armed and more disciplined… So far, they’ve coordinated with police and avoided engaging with violence.”
Johnson told the news network the militia is made up of, “US citizens exercising our constitutional rights and the color of our skin shouldn’t make any difference. … Nobody says anything when other demographics pick up weapons, decide to arm themselves and confront the government over anything from wearing a mask to being cooped up in the house, but when certain demographics arm themselves all of a sudden people tend to act as if the Constitution doesn’t matter.”
According to a Facebook post by attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, Wallace also recently joined the New Black Panther Party. Shabazz, in a now-deleted June 15 post, “I would like to welcome the young warrior O-Zone Wallace into the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense under our new leadership. Brother O-Zone, a Florida man, is a good man with serious field experience. Brother O-Zone respects me and my history and I respect him. I predict Brother Warrior O-Zone Wallace will be instrumental in the re-building of the New Black Panther Party and the entire movement at large.”
On June 24, after Wallace was accused of shooting the Daytona Beach officer, Shabazz wrote on Facebook, “Take look at the video evidence in OZ case. Let’s look at the evidence. Forget the howling of the white press. Look at the evidence. The truth is we really do not know what happened here and cannot speculate. The officer could have shot himself. There may have been two cops here. Again; every defendant has a right to a defense. Every defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt according to the law.”
4. Police Say They Found Bulletproof Vests, High-Capacity Magazines, a Rifle, a Handgun & Boxes of Ammo During a Search of Wallace’s Apartment
According to Young, investigators searched a nearby apartment belonging to Wallace and found a rifle, handgun, three bulletproof vests, multiple high-capacity magazines and boxes of rifle ammo.
Wallace’s Facebook profile says he is originally from Gainesville, Florida, and has lived in Hollywood, Florida. The Facebook page shows several photos of Wallace with his children. His Facebook profile lists his name as “O-Zone Wallace (Son Of Yah).”
He adds on Facebook, “I Am A Child Of The Most High, Qam Yasharahla.” The phrase is commonly used by members of the Black Hebrew Israelites. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the “Hebrew Israelite movement is rooted in Black Judaism, a belief system birthed in the late 1800s by black Christians from the South’s Pentecostal “Holiness” movement. They claimed to have received a revelation: America’s recently emancipated slaves were God’s chosen people, the true Hebrews. According to Black Judaism doctrine, when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, the Israelites were first scattered across the African continent and then selectively targeted by enemy African tribes who captured and sold them to European slave traders for bondage in the New World.”
The SPLC adds, “Black Judaism leaders preached self-empowerment and economic independence, an early form of black nationalism that was foundational for later groups like the Nation of Islam.”
5. A ‘Blue Alert’ Has Been Issued for the ‘Armed & Dangerous’ Wallace & the Daytona Beach Police Chief Says More Than 500 Officers Are Searching for Him
A “Blue Alert” was issued for Wallace on June 24. The system was set up by the Florida legislature in 2011 to issue alerts to phones and other devices and on highway signs when a suspect is wanted in the shooting of a police officer.
The alert says Wallace is a Black male with black hair and brown eyes who is about 5 foot 7 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He was wearing a yellow shirt and dark beanie and has a goatee and mustache with a tattoo on his neck, according to the alert. He “wears a gold grill on his teeth,” the alert states. Police said Wallace should be considered “armed and dangerous” and anyone who sees him is asked to not approach and to contact police.
Young told reporters more than 500 officers are taking part in the search, adding, “I’m grateful for every agency that has responded over here tonight to help us because they are committed to staying out here until we have this coward in custody,” Young said.
Federal authorities, including the U.S. Marshals Service, are participating in the search, according to police. CBS46 reports the search has spread to Georgia, including Metro Atlanta.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood shared video of the response to the shooting:
The Daytona Beach Police said on Twitter, “The community is welcome to attend a prayer vigil for our wounded officer at 3:30 p.m. today at Halifax Health Medical Center near the Betty Jane France statue in front of the France Tower. The Daytona Black Clergy Alliance and local chapter of the NAACP are organizing the vigil.”
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