We lost another brother.  A police officer from Ocala, Florida was killed in a late night accident.  

Police say 43-year-old OPD Officer Daniel Wagner of Ocala was off-duty when the accident happened in Marion County.  They say around 11 p.m. Thursday, he was riding a 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle west on Southwest 95th Street Road near State Road 200.  Florida Highway Patrol says that for some unknown reason, he veered left.

The motorcycle went across a raised grass median and he lost control of the bike.

He traveled across the eastbound lanes, then slide onto the roadway and came to a stop.  The officer, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, according to troopers, was rushed to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where he died.

He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, troopers said.

According to OPD officials, Wagner was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy.  He was hired as a patrol officer by the OPD in May of 2015.

In 2017, he was awarded a commendation for his outstanding performance during an armed robbery.

“He exhibited professionalism and teamwork during the incident which resulted in the suspect being located and arrested still in possession of the firearm,” said OPD.

On top of that, he was also given several commendations from people in the community.  They all commented on his professional and kind demeanor.

This March, he was assigned as a Field Training Officer.

The department said it afforded him the opportunity to be a trainer, role model and coach to newly hired cops going through the training process.

Wagner was a proud husband and father.  He leaves behind his wife, Maria; stepdaughter Ella 14; and his two sons, Daniel Jr., 20, and Brady, 17.

“The Ocala Police Department is at a loss for words in the devastation and is heartbroken over this event and requests prayers for the family and those that were close to Officer. Wagner,” Chief Greg Graham said.

The mayor also expressed sadness.

“We are saddened by this loss, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” said Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, who oversees the Police Department.

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On Wednesday afternoon, we almost lost two more officers in Memphis, Tennessee.  Police say two officers were injured – one critically – while serving an arrest warrant at about 3:30 p.m.

It all when down when the law enforcement gang unit served an arrest warrant.

According to Shelby County Sheriff’s Spokesman Anthony Buckner, deputies were in the home when the suspect opened fire.

One of the officers was shot five or six times in the leg and upper body.  His bulletproof vest may have saved his life.  He was rushed to a Memphis hospital in critical condition. Police later said he was sitting up and talking and seemed to be in good spirits at Regional One Hospital.

 

Shelby County Chief Deputy Scott Wright spoke to reports from there.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” Wright said.

Shortly after on Twitter, the sheriff’s office said the wounded officer was upgraded to non-critical condition.

 

The second officer appeared to have been bitten by a dog.  He was treated and released from the hospital later Wednesday.

Police have not yet released the identity of either deputy.

After the suspect opened fire, police responded the same way and killed him.  They have not yet released details about the person’s identity or the felony arrest warrant.

The officers who were injured were part of a multi-agency gang unit.  Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Keli McAlister said it also included Memphis Police Department officers.

She added that gang unit members entered the home with consent.  They came upon the armed threat during a search of the trailer home.

The shooting took place in the south Memphis residential neighborhood located alongside Interstate 240, turning a normally quiet neighborhood into one filled with police sirens and a large law enforcement response.

A wide perimeter was set up by both marked and unmarked police vehicles, which were forced to block traffic and keep some people from reaching their homes.

Because of how the community often reacts with situations like this, Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings asked people to remain calm and be patient during the investigation.  Luckily in the aftermath, there didn’t appear to be any signs of civil unrest.

The TBI is the state’s police agency.  It’ll be up to them to report to the District Attorney Amy Weirich.  She’ll then decide whether to pursue charges against the officers or others involved in the case.

Buckner talked to the media about the risks that officers take while serving arrest warrants.  He called that part of the job “extremely dangerous.”

Just last month, another Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputy was hurt in a confrontation with a sexual assault suspect near the county courthouse in downtown Memphis.

In that case, the deputy was stabbed and survived and the suspect was shot and killed.

Officers in Memphis have been on particular high alert since June, when the Gangster Disciples called for the deaths of police officers after the Memphis riots.

The warning came from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, which sent a bulletin to police warning of a threat against all law enforcement by the Gangster Disciples street gang.

It came after the Memphis riots.  They started when 20-year-old Brandon Webber was shot by U.S. Marshals.  They killed him after he rammed their vehicles with his several times and then stepping out of his car with a weapon, officials said.

It sparked a violent riot that lead to dozens of officers and two journalists being injured when the crowd threw rocks, bottles, and chunks of cement at police on the scene.

According to the Department of Public Safety, Webber’s father made the initial threat against law enforcement, calling for retaliation for the death of his son.

The threats are considered by authorities to be against all law enforcement nationwide, but especially the Marshals.

Information from informants to DPS and to the Mississippi Association of Gang Investigators shows that the gang plans to kill a Marshal to even the score.

“We received credible intelligence that a threat had been issued on law enforcement pursuant to the events that occurred in the city of Memphis last evening,” said DPS Commissioner Marshall Fisher. “I felt it was necessary to get that information out to law enforcement.”

Authorities say police need to be on high alert when they are in public, and that all Marshals should cover their agency apparel when they are out.

“We currently have an environment nationwide where it seems that law enforcement officers are increasingly under threats of violence. It’s incumbent upon us to get information out as soon.”

Hours before his death, Webber posted a Facebook Live video that was about eight minutes long – and has since been deleted.  It showed him singing in his car, smoking and driving.  He sees a Memphis police cruiser at one point, says they’d have to catch him and then says he’d “do” them.

“I ain’t lying, I’m gonna do they a** so bad,” Webber said in the video.

The Gangster Disciples is one of the three largest street gangs in Mississippi.  That’s according to the latest gang study by the Fusion Center, which says they were also involved with a threat on law enforcement in 2015 along with the 74 Hoover Crips.

That threat came just after Hattiesburg police officers Liquori Tate and Benjamin Deen were killed and Marvin Banks was captured and charged with two counts of capital murder in their deaths.

Here’s the back story on the Memphis riot, in case you missed it.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said that the man killed by the U.S. Marshals Service had been wanted on numerous warrants.

 

The suspect’s cousin, Demetrick Skinner, said Webber was fatally shot and claims as many as 20 shots were fired at him.

His aunt, Yolanda Holmes, said police claim he was shooting at an officer. 

MPD officers were not involved in the shooting – they were actually called in to assist the Gulf Coast Regional Task Force and the U.S. Marshal Service.

 

Shortly after the shooting, a chaotic scene erupted in the Frayser area, with heavily armed police facing off against an angry, rock-throwing crowd.

 

Dozens of protesters attacked the police, throwing stones and tree limbs until the angry crowds were finally broken up with tear gas. 

According to Memphis Police Deputy Director Mike Ryall, none of the officers were injured seriously.

Ryall said the area of Overton Crossing and Argonne Street, which is where the attacks on the officers were happening, was considered a crime scene. Crime scene officers spent the night there.

State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, a Memphis Democrat whose district includes Frayser, posted a statement on Instagram in the aftermath.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved in the incident in Frayser,” Parkinson said. “The Frayser community is comprised of good, hard working people who love their community.  The community wants answers into tonight’s incident. We are asking for calm and restraint by all and complete transparency in the investigation of tonight’s officer involved shooting.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland wrote on Facebook that in the violence, at least two dozen law enforcement officers and at least two journalists were injured.  He said damage was also extensive.

“Multiple police cars were vandalized. A concrete wall outside a business was torn down. The windows were broken out at fire station 31.”

 

One of the videos posted online showed a man smashing a chair against a police vehicle.

 

Police reported that they had received a call for assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service earlier in the evening, which later lead to a “tense standoff” between law enforcement and residents after the shooting, which took place in the Frayser neighborhood.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) also responded, according to local media.

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