LAKE MARY, Fla. - The St. Cloud Police Department has concluded an investigation into the shooting of a man accused of stabbing a young girl in a brutal attack back in May.
Jah’Sean Hodge, 21, was fatally shot by police officers following an incident that left Jada Pagan, 9, beaten, stabbed, and left for dead. The stabbing happened on the afternoon of May 5 inside an apartment on Georgia Ave. Two officers came into contact with a shirtless man covered in blood near the intersection of Georgia Ave. and 3rd Street. That man was later identified as Hodge.
"When officers made contact with Mr. Hodge, he began coming towards them, and they ordered him to stop multiple times. Mr. Hodge failed to comply with their commands. Mr. Hodge shouted for officers to shoot him, and he quickly charged at Officer Dunn. Officer Dunn shot and killed Mr. Hodge," read a report.
The officer-involved shooting is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The issue involving the attack on the child has been handled by the St. Cloud Police Department.
According to investigators, Hodge's DNA was found under the child’s fingernails and his bloody thumbprint was recovered from a barbell used to bludgeon her. The child's DNA was also found on Hodge's shirt, detectives said.
"All of the extensive forensic evidence conclusively indicates Jah’Sean Hodge was the sole vicious attacker and attempted murderer of Jada Pagan," said St. Cloud Police Chief Pete Gauntlett. "Jada herself gave a full account of the incident that occurred that day, including specific descriptions of the incident location, clothing worn by Jah’Sean, and the weapon involved."
Pagan told investigators that she was in the living room with Hodge, saw he had a knife, and asked, “Why do you have that knife in your hand?” She said he replied, “It was you,” and the girl said, “then he stabbed me.”
The report details Pagan's injuries which included a 12 cm-deep laceration to her neck, which penetrated through her skin and muscles, a fractured left temporal bone, a fractured left sinus cavity, orbital fractures, and multiple lacerations to her face. She also suffered what appeared to be the letter “J” carved into the left side of her forehead.
"This case is troubling. A child was brutally beaten, stabbed, and left to die. While she has survived, she will carry the emotional and physical scars of her experience for the rest of her life," Chief Gauntlett said. "She has proven to be a very strong little girl in that she clearly described in detail what happened to her, including identifying her attacker."
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