Duval County

JSO shooting suspect’s mental health had been declining, roommate says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The roommate of the local mom who police said they were forced to shoot when she charged officers with a butcher knife, cutting one, said he witnessed her mental health recently declining.

Friends and family confirmed photos of the suspect killed Saturday as 29-year-old Leah Baker.

We found at least one Baker Act and a previous domestic violence arrest in Baker’s past. Court records show that domestic violence adjudication was withheld.

Zachary Solovikos, Baker’s roommate, said he noticed her mental health on the decline in the days leading up to the shooting.

RELATED: Police shoot woman who cut JSO officer with butcher knife

“I tried to get her to take her [medication], and she just wouldn’t, and as the days [went on] she got really bad,” Solovikos said. “I thought about Baker Acting her myself, but they would talk to her, and she was so out of her mind she didn’t even know what she was talking about.”

Baker’s mother said she was previously staying at a group home with people like her. She also said she recently got out of Mental Health Resource Center.

JSO said it was called to the home on Golfair Blvd. for a dispute over medicine.

A witness who didn’t want to be identified said he watched from his porch with his 5-year-old daughter, quickly realizing he needed to get her to safety.

“All we heard basically is, ‘She’s got a knife,’ so the officer ran back toward the street and the girl came out with the knife at the officer and then she fired,” the man said. “The officer kept telling her, ‘Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!’ And then another undercover officer pulled up, and he fired, and that’s when she dropped.”

JSO initially said Saturday Baker was hospitalized with serious injuries, and later updated she died.

“I am outraged at what happened and what I saw. It didn’t have to go down like that,” Solovikos said. “It’s sad.”

JSO said the officer’s injuries are minor. Both invovled officers are on administrative leave pending the investigation.

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