A man believed to be burglarizing a Mayport home Thursday morning is dead, his partner is charged with the murder and the homeowner who actually fired the fatal shots is facing a weapons violation and drug charges, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Homicide detectives on Friday said 23-year-old Donald Palmer shot and killed 25-year-old Austin Glendenning, who police said was breaking into the Cypress Landing Drive home of Palmer's mother, but there was more to the story.
Police say Palmer shot Glendenning twice with a gun with the serial number filed off, so he was charged with a weapons violation. Officers also found more than 20 grams of marijuana in the home, along with other controlled substances, so Palmer was charged with two other felonies.
According to jail records, he is not eligible for bond.
Police say a second man believed to be breaking into the house --
Cameron Smith, 21 -- was charged with murder because a death occurred as he was committing a felony, as well as armed burglary. Officers say he was armed with a pipe and pepper spray.
Detectives say Palmer knew Glendenning and believe drugs were a motivating factor in the burglary. They said Glendenning went into the home, sprayed Palmer with pepper spray and hit him with the pipe. Palmer then fired his weapon twice and struck Glendenning, killing him, police said.
They said Smith was still out back and took off running into the woods.
Alejandro DeJesus, who lives next door, said he saw the two burglary suspects and heard the gunshots. He said he let his dogs out Thursday morning and he saw two men just beyond his fence.
DeJesus said the men were wearing black hoodies and one of them had a pipe in his hand, but he blew it off, thinking they were just homeless men.
"From what I heard, the two men who broke in, they were going to kill (Palmer), but unfortunately (Palmer) got them first," DeJesus said.