• Deputies: New Hampshire fugitive killed at St. Augustine motel

    By: Action News Jax


    RELATED: James Hobbs: 5 things to know about fugitive killed in St. Augustine

    Wednesday update: Deputies have identified the man shot and killed at a St. Augustine motel as a fugitive from New Hampshire.

    Deputies say James Benny Hobbs, 59, fled Stratham after officials issued a warrant for his arrest for aggravated felonious sexual assault on a child under the age of 15.

    Law enforcement officers learned Hobbs was in St. Augustine and located a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect vehicle in the parking lot, deputies said.

    U.S. Marshal Taskforce Agents and members of St. Johns County deputies approached the door and asked Hobbs to leave the room, according to the sheriff's office.

    Deputies said he came out of the room but refused to comply with law enforcement's orders. He made several sudden moves causing three law enforcement officers, two federal agents and a deputy, to fire their guns.

    Deputies said the taskforce members will not be identified because they were working in an undercover capacity and are involved in arresting some of the nation’s most dangerous and wanted individuals.

    The deputy has been identified as Deputy M. Toubaili. He has been employed with the sheriff’s office since May of 2014 and this is his first officer-involved shooting, deputies said.

    UPDATE, 7:53 a.m., 2/7/18: The St. John's County Sheriff's Office has informed media outlets that they will be releasing the name of the suspect and the state and agency related to his warrant for arrest in the child sex battery charge.  

    Original story below:

    A suspect from another state wanted on child sex battery charges was shot and killed at a motel near a St. Augustine outlet mall Tuesday, deputies said.

    St. Johns County deputies say the suspect was shot at the Howard Johnson motel at 2535 State Road 16.



    St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said U.S. Marshals and St. Johns deputies were at the motel as part of a task force operation.

    Law enforcement approached a hotel room of an individual who was wanted from a state in the Northeastern U.S. for aggravated sexual battery on a child under the age of 15. 

    Mulligan said the suspect also had previous criminal issues that he was on probation for.

    When the suspect exited the motel room, he made some actions that are now being investigated, Mulligan said.

    Those actions caused "multiple individuals involved in the task force and deputies with the Sheriff's Office that were accompanying them to fire simultaneously" on the suspect, Mulligan said.

    "Unfortunately, he did not surrender in a manner where they could take him into custody without further event," Mulligan said.

    The suspect was shot both inside and outside of the room, as he was in close proximity to the door. Mulligan said he would not comment on whether there was a gun in the suspect's room at the time of the shooting.

    St. Johns County Fire Rescue responded to the scene tend to the suspect, but were unable to revive him and he died.

    Mulligan said the state the suspect was from is not being released at this time, as the man's next of kin had not yet been identified.

    No deputies or agents were hurt during the shooting.

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