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Suicide by cop: Community worker killed

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Updated: 5/03/2013 10:09 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A SWAT team, hostage negotiators, and gunfire.  A quiet Southside neighborhood was transformed Tuesday night after police say Elbert Lilley called 911 saying that his stepson, Todd Jones, had invited him over them stabbed him.

Chief Tom Hackney with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said, "Jones throws the door open and immediately screams die, die!  And stabs him in the chest with a makeshift spear, which was basically a PVC pipe with a knife attached to it."

It was the culmination of a longstanding family feud, police say.  They say Lilley, 59, and Jones, 41, had been arguing over who should live in their Countryside Village home after Jones' mom died. 

The trailer was in Lilley's name and he wanted his stepson to move out. "Mr. Lilley's assessment, at that point in time, was that he may be suicidal based on the fact that it was a clear ambush, he got set up," said Chief Hackney.

When police arrived, they say Jones refused to come out of his home.  More than an hour later, they say Jones came running out of the home screaming, charging officers with a gun in his hand.  Three officers then fired 21 shots, hitting Jones 11 times.  He was killed, and police believe he wanted it that way. 

"This turns out that this was a pellet gun, a BB gun/pellet gun," said Chief Hackney.  "That makes this an obvious suicide by cop, in our opinion.  He exited the trailer holding what he knew not to be a firearm, charged officers that he knew were armed."

News of Jones' death, and how he died, has the people who knew him dumbfounded.  Michelle Hughes and Bob Burr say Todd Jones was an asset to Fresh Ministries when he worked for the non-profit back in 2009.

"Todd was a wonderful guy," said Hughes.  "He helped us launch our Jacksonville Hospitality Institute training program, where we train individuals in the hospitality industry."

"It was a very big shock," said former co-worker Bob Burr.  "Todd was such a giving person.  I know he was deeply devoted to his mother.  There was a great deal of love there with his mother."

"He was the kind of person that everyone would like to emulate," added Burr.

Jones had no criminal record.

Lilley survived the stabbing and is currently hospitalized in serious condition.

Tuesday's shooting was the 4th police shooting of 2013. In 2012 there were 10 people shot by police, 6 of those shootings were deadly. In 2011, there were seven police shootings.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

chosen197 - 5/3/2013 4:59 PM
0 Votes
Truebeholder I'm sorry about the awful comments. Your brother was a wonderful man, fun, loving and caring. I agree very distraught over your mother's passing. I send prayers out for you and your family for comfort and peace. Todd was my classmate and friend he will be missed.

Truebeholder - 5/2/2013 8:45 PM
0 Votes
Be careful about calling him a scumbag. My brother was a decent man, very distraught over my mom's passing and pushed over the edge. You have no idea what you would do in the situation he was placed in. My brother cared for my mother and she passed unexpectedly right before his eyes and that also traumatized him.

TOMMY - 5/2/2013 6:14 AM
1 Vote
Any scumbag that charges an officer of the law deserves to be killed. You hear all the the time, he didn't deserve to die, well if the scum pulls a gun on a cop, then yes he's got whats coming to him. Quit using the taser and just put a bullet in them, save taxpayers money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fred Thompson - 5/1/2013 12:16 PM
0 Votes
Good work JSO' leave no doubt! Find any oppertunity you can to kill off the scum bag criminal element.
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