SWAT officer shoots, kills man in Arlington

2 children found in home after fatal shooting during serving of narcotics warrant

By Scott Johnson - Reporter , Chris Parenteau - Reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police continue their investigation into the man who was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon by a SWAT officer who was on a team serving a narcotics search warrant at an Arlington home, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office called it a high-risk warrant because the suspect is known to have used firearms before, and officers said they found multiple drugs, guns and children inside the house after they shot and killed the suspect.

The fatal shot was fired from a doorway into the home in the 200 block of Century Street. Officers later found two children in another room in the house, Undersheriff Pat Ivey said.

Nick Rodgers, a 12-year veteran of JSO, fired his .223 caliber assault rifle at the man, whose name has not been released, because the man was wielding a handgun and turned toward the SWAT officers who were entering the home, Ivey said. The man died at the scene.

Ivey said the search warrant was being served by a SWAT team because the subject of the warrant, who was accused of dealing cocaine, was known to have been armed before. Ivey said the man shot is believed to be the subject of the search warrant, but his identity has not been confirmed.

One other man and two women were also inside the home, along with the children, Ivey said. No one else was injured.

"They do a briefing before every execution of warrant, which includes being mindful of animals, children, other people, pedestrian traffic, vehicular traffic, the structure itself, all of those things," Ivey said. "Always be mindful of what we call the backstop -- what is behind the subject you are discharging your firearm at."

Cocaine and other firearms besides the handgun the man was wielding were found in plain sight in the home, which is in the Woodland Acres area off Atlantic Boulevard. No arrests have been made.

As police continue to work the case family members of the man who was shot said they feel that police are unfairly targeting their neighborhood. 

"It's pretty peaceful, believe it or not. Cops mess people on a daily basis around here because they say it's a known drug neighborhood. But there's 100 million more drug neighborhoods but they're always messing with this one," resident Brandy Rayburn said. 

Per JSO protocol, Rodgers has been placed on administrative leave pending a review of the shooting, Ivey said.

Rodgers was also involved in a shooting in 2007. He was shot in the face during an exchange of gunfire with a drug suspect after officers responded to a call of a suspicious person at 24th and Haines Streets on the Eastside, where anti-drug surveillance was taking place. Rodgers needed jaw surgery and lost some teeth. He was awarded a Purple Heart for that incident.

Streets around the home where Wednesday's shooting happened will be blocked off through the evening, but residents in the area will be escorted back to their homes by officers, as needed, a JSO spokesman said.

"The police are always doing something in this neighborhood -- always," neighbor Mary Lewis-Chacon said. "Things are going to happen, but every day it's something in this neighborhood."

"I was the narcotics commander for four years," Ivey said. "Many people in this community called us to address the narcotics and prostitution activity in this area -- very specific to this immediate area."

This is the ninth police-involved shooting this year involving the JSO. Four of the previous eight shootings involved a fatality.

Ivey said he plans to release more details, including the victim's name, in an update Thursday. News4Jax will stream that briefing live. A time for the briefing has not been announced yet.

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