Officer in Vernell Bing case shoots and kills knife-wielding man threatening veteran

Veteran in good spirits following police shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A homeless and disabled Army veteran, who was held at knifepoint by a man Wednesday night on State Street, is in good spirits today.

The knife-wielding suspect accused of attacking the veteran was shot and killed by a responding Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officer.

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This is the fourth officer-involved shooting in Jacksonville in 2019 and the third that was deadly.

While the veteran declined an on-camera interview, he tells Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson he’s doing well and said he had only known the suspect for about a week.

Nelson spoke with the victim’s friend who witnessed the knifepoint attack, and subsequent shooting, in an interview. He did not wish to be identified.

“[The suspect] bought a new knife, stuck it to [the victim’s] throat when the cops showed up,” the victim’s friend said. “... [The officer] ran from there right on over and said 'Drop the knife.’ Turned around, he went after the cop, so the cop shot him three times.”


The victim’s friend said the suspect threatened several people in the area last night and appeared to be mentally disturbed.

Police say a witness went to a nearby gas station to call for help when they saw the suspect, Frankie Feliciano, 33, holding the victim, who uses a wheelchair, at knifepoint.

Investigators say Feliciano’s rap sheet includes eight arrests. Six were in Jacksonville.

Feliciano’s most recent arrest was in February of this year, in which arrest records say he used a lug wrench in an aggravated battery case.

Police tell us only about 35 seconds passed from the time the officer arrived to the moment he fired three shots, killing Feliciano.

T. K. Waters, chief of investigation at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, told Nelson the officer was forced to make a split-second decision.

Waters said the officer’s verbal commands were the only de-escalation tactic time allowed him to use, as the victim’s life was in immediate danger.

Fearing for his life and the life of the victim who had a knife at his throat, police say the officer opened fire.

“This decision, though not taken lightly, took place very, very, quickly,” said Waters, "And that decision helped saved the life of one of the members of our community.”

JSO says the officer who opened fire in this case is Tyler L. Landreville, a 16-year veteran of the department.

Investigators confirmed Landreville is the same officer who shot and killed Vernell Bing Jr. in 2016. That case was later cleared by the State Attorney's Office in 2017.

Landreville is now on administrative leave, and Wednesday’s case will be reviewed both internally and by the State Attorney’s Office.

“Officer Landreville, from what I can see preliminarily, did everything that he was supposed to have done,” said Waters.

The victim’s friend considers the officer a hero, saying his actions likely saved the man’s life.

“Wasn’t the cop’s fault,” said the man. “And he did what he had to do.”

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