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Witness reacts to shooting at Tom Brown Park

Posted at 7:32 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 23:02:34-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) — People were at Tom Brown Park Thursday night during shoot out involving officers that left one person dead.

One of those people, Jacob O'Donnell.

"In that moment, you're just kind of sitting there, looking and it takes maybe two or three seconds to calibrate 'Oh, this is happening.'" O'Donnell said. "It's not fireworks. It's not a loud truck, like this is actually happening."

That is how O'Donnell felt when he saw that shooting after his softball game here at Tom Brown Park. According to the Tallahasse Police Department, the shooting resulted in the death of Asia Fitzgerald.

"It had to have been thirty seconds of gunfire. Had to be 100 plus rounds that got shot off," O'Donnell said. "Then, the fire kind of ceased, and you heard officers obviously just screaming, yelling."

Tallahassee Police Department Deputy Cheif Jason Laursen said it all began with the traffic stop of Durrell Lee on Apalachee Parkway near Executive Center Drive.

Police said Lee ran from police and led them to here at Tom Brown Park, where they ran into the two other people. One of those people, Asia Fitzgerald, who police said shot at officers and was shot and killed as a result by law enforcement. Something Deputy Chief Jason Laursen said was a life or death moment for officers.

"From what I have seen on the body cam footage, it was very harrowing for the officers. They were in fear definitely and it was a very scary situation," Laursen said.

While he knew they were probably safe at a distance, O'Donnell said his first response was to protect his wife.

"We're all kind of sitting here in this parking lot and I kind of push my wife, grab my friends wife's arm and kind of push them behind my F150 and I said now is the time to kind of get some cover," O'Donnell said. "We're far away, maybe 3 or 400 yards."

O'Donnell said the police response after that shooting was almost as shocking as the shots themselves.

"The immediate, I mean immediate response, I didn't realize we had that many officers on standby at any given moment," O'Donnell said. "To think, that situation was handled, that guy was in custody, and then within thirty seconds to a minute we had twenty plus, thirty plus, forty, fifty plus officers running around this park."

Tallahassee Police Department is still investigating this incident. ABC 27's Kendall Brandt reached out to a member of the Citzens Police Review Board. He said the board has not reviewed this incident because they do not have enough members.