Watch: Cop Unloads Gun into His Own Squad Car in Epic Gunfight with an Acorn

Karen Faljyan /
Karen Faljyan /

A police-involved shooting that happened in Florida last November went viral this week when the bodycam footage was finally released. The dramatic footage shows an Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy firing rounds at his own patrol vehicle as he ducks and dodges to avoid getting shot. At one point, the deputy flops on the ground and screams that he’s been hit before he heroically continues shooting the SUV. That spooked his partner, who also shot the vehicle several times for good measure. The months-long investigation into the incident revealed that the cops had been blazing away at an acorn in a residential neighborhood.

There have been a handful of gunfights throughout American history that are the stuff of legend. The Earp brothers’ shootout at the OK Corral is one example. So was the Secret Service shootout with Puerto Rican nationalists who were attempting to assassinate President Harry Truman in 1950. This is not one of those stories.

Deputy Jesse Hernandez and his partner, Sgt. Beth Roberts responded to a domestic disturbance in Fort Walton Beach last November. Some homeboy had stolen his baby mama’s car and was making threats over the phone or something. Hernandez and Roberts responded, and when Marquis Jackson cruised through the neighborhood in the stolen car, they detained him. Jackson was handcuffed and placed in the back of Hernandez’s patrol vehicle.

The bodycam footage reveals that as Hernandez was walking back to his patrol vehicle, he thought that he had suddenly come under fire. He dramatically yells, “Shots fired! Shots fired! Shots fired!”

In the distance, you can hear Sgt. Roberts asking, “Where? Right there?”

As he’s yelling, Hernandez executes three perfect rolls on the ground as he tries to create some distance between himself and his own patrol vehicle. The deputy then draws his sidearm and begins pumping hot lead into the back of the SUV.

Hernandez fires 10 or 11 shots into the vehicle before suddenly letting out a painful screech.


Hernandez collapses on his side in the middle of the road while screaming, “Oh, I’m hit! I’m hit!”

He then empties the rest of his magazine, firing a total of 17 rounds into his own patrol vehicle. At some point during all this dramatic gunplay, Sgt. Roberts also fired several rounds into the vehicle. Hernandez screams incomprehensibly as he’s crawling across the street to take cover behind someone’s car.

Later in the video, Hernandez states, “I’m good, but I feel weird.”

By this point, other deputies are responding to the scene and have the patrol vehicle surrounded with AR-15s. He then speculates that maybe he was hit in his bulletproof vest. He finally asks another officer, “Dude, am I hit?” before the video cuts out.

The episode is truly bizarre because no shots were fired until Hernandez started pumping hot lead into his own patrol vehicle. Did we mention that Marquis Jackson was still handcuffed in the backseat as the two cops shot the vehicle more than 20 times?

After investigating the case and reviewing the bodycam footage for several months, it was determined that an acorn had fallen from the tree that Hernandez was parked under. The nut made a popping sound as it bounced off the roof of the car. Hernandez somehow mistook that for a gunshot and then turned into an action movie hero, rolling around on the ground, screaming, and firing shots in a residential neighborhood.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office determined that it would have fired Hernandez for his reckless and slightly crazy behavior. It didn’t have to do that, though, because Hernandez had already quit because of the relentless teasing and mockery from his fellow officers. Fortunately, neither Marquis Jackson nor the acorn were injured in the epic shootout.