JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A surveillance camera captured the moment when a 16-year-old was shot and killed just outside the Jacksonville Landing downtown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.
The video, obtained Thursday from the State Attorney's Office, also reveals the moments leading up the shooting. The footage shows a group gathered in a plaza area at the north end of the Landing.
Newe4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith, who's a former police officer, reviewed the surveillance video several times. He said there appeared to be a verbal altercation that turned into chaos.
"You have what appears to be high schoolers, or young people, hanging out here. This is a hangout spot in this part of the Landing, where kids are known to congregate. Not all of them, I'm sure, are not aware of what's going on, or what's about to happen," Smith said.
The video then shows 16-year old Khamoi Petersen, wearing red, pull a gun and walk toward Tyrik Solomon, 18. Solomon then pulls his own gun.
While News4Jax is not showing what happened next, police said Petersen was killed.
On Wednesday, News4Jax learned that the fatal shooting was ruled justifiable by the State Attorney’s Office because Petersen pulled the gun first. Solomon pleaded guilty to possession of a concealed firearm in connection with the shooting, but will not face any charges in connection with Petersen's death.
Smith said the surveillance video seems to be clear-cut evidence that the shooting by Solomon was justified.
"They've been going back and forth at each other. He's kind of walking away, now Peterson pulls out gun right there. Solomon doesn't have his, and then he pulls it out, and then he was justified in shooting because they were going back and forth. He did show his weapon, and the opportunity was there for him to shoot," Smith said while watching the video. "That's why it was justified."
According to investigators, it appeared that a fight escalated into gunfire, which shattered a glass door at the front of the Landing. Based on shell casings recovered, more than one gun was fired, police said.
The surveillance video shows the group scattering after the gunfire, but a few people came back and tried to help Petersen, who was taken to UF Health Jacksonville, and died later that night.
Solomon was sentenced to two years of probation on the gun charge. He can have the probation terminated if he meets certain conditions, including living with his parents while he’s homeschooled and graduating from high school this year.