Truckers gathered outside a Florida hospital on Tuesday evening to show their support for a still recovering Daytona Beach police officer, a week after being shot in the head by a man who was eventually apprehended in a paramilitary encampment black nationalist in Georgia.
The so-called community vigil involved truckers from across central Florida and took place outside of Halifax Health Medical Center, where 26-year-old officer Jason Raynor remains hospitalized in critical condition.
“We just need the family to know that we are here. The community is supporting them,” said Amanda Balboa of Arrow Service and Towing. WESH during the vigil. “We have to let them know that we are there for them.”
A large American flag was hoisted above an entrance, as a crowd of people in the parking lot bowed their heads in prayer for Raynor. They then jumped into their platforms to take a tour of the hospital, moaning on their horns and cheering to let the officer inside feel their presence.
FLORIDA COP SHOOTING SUSPECT WAIVES FORMAL EXTRADITION IN TRIBUNAL
Raynor’s family watched the vigil below from a hospital window, the police chaplain said. The organizers also collected donations for the family. Speaking at the event, the chaplain quoted from scriptures, saying, “What the devil meant for evil, God used for good.”
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young told reporters Raynor was “fighting for his life” immediately after the June 23 shooting. His condition has since improved enough to withstand testing at the hospital, Young said on Monday, according to WKMG, but the officer has a long road to recovery.
Raynor was shot dead just before 9 p.m. as he approached a vehicle while responding to a “suspicious incident” report. Body camera footage shows he asked the driver if he lived in the area when a brief struggle ensued. He was shot a few seconds later.
Following a 56-hour manhunt, Othal Toreyane Resheen Wallace, 29, was located in a treehouse on the three-acre property while executing a search warrant in DeKalb County, Georgia. The property belongs to the militant group NFAC (Not F — ing Around Coalition) and is home to a “black nationalist paramilitary encampment,” according to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
During a brief George hearing on Tuesday, Wallace, charged with attempted first degree murder of a law enforcement officer with a firearm, waived his right to a formal extradition hearing, thus paving the way for his return to Florida – although it is not known when that will happen, according to Fox 32 Orlando.
FBI Jacksonville is assisting Daytona Beach Police with next stages of investigation.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page set up to support Raynor’s family during her recovery brought in more than $ 305,800 on Wednesday. Over the weekend, many people gathered in Daytona Beach to organize lemonade stands and other fundraisers to raise money for the family, WKMG reported.