On the same day Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters released body camera video of the city's first police shooting of 2023, officers shot and killed another suspect.
It began in the early afternoon Thursday with a call about a man threatening to harm himself and would shoot at any police who came onto his property at a home in the 5400 block of Lannie Road on the Northside. Chief Mark Romano said it was believed his girlfriend was inside, so SWAT responded and communicated with the suspect for over an hour.
He eventually came out of the front door, go on his hands and knees and put the gun down, Romano said. Then he picked it up and fired at the officers who immediately shot him multiple times. Six officers were involved and none injured.
It turned out the girlfriend was not inside but at another location safe. The chief said he did not know the mental history of the suspect or whether this was a suicide by cop. His name and age range have not been released.
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Waters and Chief of Professional Standards Chris Brown had just released footage of the Jan. 19 fatal police shooting of suspect Eric Nathaniel Thornton, 38. The video showed him fleeing a van that narcotics officers had been staking out to arrest a known drug dealer they identified as 29-year-old Brian Gregory Brightman in the parking lot of a North Main Street apartment complex.
The Sheriff's Office said Brightman remained in the van with his 8-year-old son, but Thornton tried to get away and would not put the knife down during a brief foot chase by two officers demanding he drop the weapon. The two shot him multiple times.
Just a day later the Sheriff's Office said a burglary suspect, later identified as 39-year-old Leon Bernard Burroughs, fired a shot at officers from inside a car and grazed one of them in the face. All five opened fire killing him. That had begun with a burglary investigation on Hardee Street where they tracked Burroughs to the vehicle he was sleeping in.
They noticed a handgun on top of the car and moved it and then opened the door and tried to talk with him, the Sheriff's Office previously said. They asked him multiple times to show them his hands and to get out of the car. That's when he fired one shot and was immediately gunned down.
Last year at this time, the city had two police shootings but neither fatal. The year ended with 12 suspects shot, eight fatally.
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This also becomes the city's 17th homicide of the year compared to 13 at the same time in 2022, according to Times-Union data. Jacksonville ended with one of its highest totals of 162 last year.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville police shoot and kill suspect in apparent suicide by cop