JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local barbershop turned into a crime scene Thursday. That's where police had to use deadly force against a man they deemed dangerous and on the run.
Today, Chief of Investigations Tom Hackney unveiled the gun 32-year-old Thomas McMullen was carrying before he was shot by a K-9 officer. According to JSO, McMullen led police on a chase before trying to hide in the Community Barber Shop. Police established a perimeter and spotted their suspect in a crawlspace underneath the business.
"The K-9 Officer gave repeated instructions for that suspect to not only show his hands but to comply and come from underneath the business. The suspect refused the orders from the K-9 officer but cursed back at the officer each one of the times," said Hackney.
Officers on scene report hearing T.E. Stafford ask McMullen to comply at least seven times. McMullen refused and reached for his waistband. Thinking the suspect was armed, Stafford, a 21-year-veteran, pulled his trigger five times. Three shots hit McMullen and killed him instantly.
Action News looked into McMullen's criminal history and found he has been arrested for drug possession and at the age of 14, armed robbery and attempted first degree murder. According to police, McMullen was part of a group of teens who robbed and shot 30-year-old Tammy Jo Johnson to death back in 1993.
McMullen wasn't armed when he was shot Thursday. His .45 caliber was found a couple blocks away from the scene.
But police say he was a career criminal who posed a serious threat to officers and the community.
"The officer knew at the time the suspect was armed and it wasn't until after the shooting incident that the handgun was found," said Hackney.
As standard procedure, Officer Stafford was placed on administrative leave.