Duval County

Hours long investigation reveals suspect dead after firing on JSO SWAT officers, hit by return fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says what started as a suicidal call with threats to shoot police if they showed up, turned deadly on Lannie road.

After trying to get the man to come out, officers heard a gunshot and learned the suspect’s girlfriend may have been inside the home.

“SWAT officers responded shortly thereafter and they communicated with the suspect for over an hour,” Chief of Investigations, Mark Romano said.

At one point, Romano says it appeared as if the man was complying to commands for him to come out of the home and came out the front door on his hands and knees.

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“He placed a handgun in front of him on the porch area,” Romano said. “Suspect picked the gun up for unknown reason and shot at the SWAT officers and ultimately multiple SWAT officers shot back at this individual killing him at the scene.”

They eventually learned the girlfriend was not inside the home and was found safe at a different location.

JSO said they didn’t have information if the suspect had a history of mental health issues and said there wasn’t any sort of mental health worker on scene. Action News Jax asked if there should have been one.

“Well, we don’t know enough yet right, it’s too early,” Romano said.

Considering the suspect made threats to hurt himself and police, Romano spoke on the dynamics officers face in these types of calls.

“Our officers are highly trained and have all the equipment, the best equipment in the nation, right. They do everything they can to save someone’s life and ultimately if that person makes a decision they have lives to save as well. So, they make those decisions,” he said.

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Six SWAT officers were involved in the shooting and will be placed on administrative leave, which is typical according to JSO policy.

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