Police release video of man shooting at officer's face

Liz Evans Scolforo

A 42-second video released Wednesday by Northern Regional Police shows just how quickly — and unexpectedly — a traffic stop can go bad.

Trev Jackson II

A man police say is Trev Bowies Jackson II gets out of his car, then turns his back to Officer Lynn Anderson, seemingly cooperating as the officer starts to handcuff him. At the 38th second, Jackson turns toward Anderson and fires a pistol three times directly at the officer's face.

Anderson turns and dives away from the gunfire as Jackson jumps back in his car and takes off. The attack, which happened about 10 p.m. Nov. 22, lasted just two seconds.

Somehow, no bullets struck the officer. Anderson was able to return fire, then provide crucial identifying details about Jackson, despite having suffered powder burns to his face from his attacker's gun, Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said.

Within hours of the gunfire, Bentzel spoke to the media about how grave the encounter was. But he said he realized no one would truly understand how close Anderson came to being murdered unless they saw the video.

"I want the public to know and understand that this is a dangerous man," the chief said of Jackson. "The video clearly shows (that). ... He tried to kill our police officer."

Back at work: Anderson returned to work Monday, Bentzel confirmed.

"Lynn is a great police officer. He's committed to the job and he felt he was ready to get back out on the streets," the chief said. "Interestingly enough, his first day back to work, he was out stopping cars. He was doing his job. That says a lot about Lynn Anderson."

Bentzel said any traffic stop can turn deadly without warning.

Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel.
(Liz Evans Scolforo photo)

"What Lynn Anderson was doing that night was no different than what occurs thousands of times a day across this country," he said. "It's a danger law enforcement faces every time they stop a car. ... They can take every precaution they can, but there's a lot of unknown out there."

The chief praised Anderson's professionalism in the wake of nearly being shot in the face, saying it showed the officer's level of focus.

"The amazing thing is, he provided details including the color of (Jackson's) jacket, the number of shots fired at him and the number of shots (Anderson) fired in return. He was absolutely 100 percent accurate, which to me was amazing, considering the circumstances he'd just gone through — that he was able to process and recall all that information. He was spot on."

Lynn Anderson

Anderson, 29, like many officers in life-threatening situations, reverted to his training.

"In his case, he'd just undergone four weeks of tactical training to become a member of the county's Quick Response Team," Bentzel said. "All those things worked to his benefit."

The background: Anderson pulled over Jackson at the Manchester Crossroads Shopping Center along Route 30 in Manchester Township for suspected DUI, police have said.

He smelled marijuana coming from Jackson's Buick LeSabre and noticed Jackson appeared to be under the influence of drugs, charging documents state.

The dashboard camera video shows Anderson asking Jackson for his driver's license, which Jackson throws out past the officer. Bentzel said he doesn't know whether Jackson was hoping Anderson would retrieve the license, perhaps giving Jackson time to either flee or shoot the officer from behind.

But Anderson — who followed all proper protocols and departmental policy — wasn't distracted, Bentzel said. He instead ordered Jackson out of the car and started to handcuff him.

As Jackson fired three times at Anderson's face with a .380-caliber handgun, Anderson dove out of the way and returned fire, squeezing off seven rounds, Bentzel said. The Buick was struck with four bullets, two each in the driver door and driver window, the chief said.

Jackson was shot in the left hand when Anderson returned fire, according to police.

Blood in shed: The Buick was found abandoned Nov. 23 in the 1800 block of North George Street.

But a few hours earlier, at about 6 a.m., a woman who lives on Zoar Avenue in Manchester Township called 911 after seeing a man fleeing from her property with her bicycle, which he'd stolen from her shed, according to Northern Regional Lt. David Lash.

Responding officers found a boot print and a pool of blood in the woman's shed, "as if someone had been hiding there," Lash said, adding Jackson rode the stolen bike to a home in York City. The bicycle was recovered later the same day in York City, he said.

A few days later, police tracked down a witness who saw Jackson in a York City home on the morning of Nov. 23 and that witness reported Jackson's left hand was injured, Lash said.

Jackson was on state parole on drug and gun charges at the time of the traffic stop. He was released from state prison March 19, according to the state Department of Corrections.

$5K cash reward: Bentzel acknowledged his department doesn't routinely release traffic-stop videos, and he said he consulted with Anderson before making the video public.

"We're hoping this (video) generates some renewed interest and tips that will lead to the apprehension of Trev Jackson," Bentzel said. "And someone out there, or many people out there, know this man and may know where he's located. If we learn someone so much as holds the door open for this man, (that person) is going to be charged."

The chief said Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the capture of Jackson, who Bentzel warned is armed and dangerous.

Jackson, 24, of 114 E. College Ave., remains a fugitive on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault on a police officer and reckless endangerment. He is a convicted felon who is not allowed to possess firearms.

Anyone with information about Jackson's whereabouts is urged to call 911 immediately.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.