Hunt for suspect ongoing after Florida police officer shot

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities searched Thursday for a suspect after a Florida police officer was shot and seriously wounded, officials said.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young told reporters at a news conference that the 26-year-old officer was in critical condition after he was shot in the head Wednesday night.

“The surgery was fairly successful,” Young said. “He still has a long way to go.”

The officer’s name was not immediately released.

Authorities named the wanted suspect as Othal Wallace, 29. Young said the officer approached Wallace as he sat in a gray Honda HR-V and was shot while “escorting him out of the car.” It wasn’t immediately clear what drew the officer’s attention.

Young said more than 500 officers from various agencies had responded to help find Wallace, who officials said may have fled to the Atlanta area.

A search of an apartment near the shooting location revealed a rifle, numerous boxes of ammunition, a handgun, several high-capacity magazines and three ballistic vests, Young said. It wasn’t clear what Wallace’s connection to the apartment and the weapons might be.

“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” the chief said.