3 officers shoot, kill man in 'suicide by cop'

Police: 41-year-old charged officer with pellet gun after stabbing stepfather


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three officers shot and killed a 41-year-old man after police said he stabbed his stepfather, then later charged an officer while holding a pellet gun following a nearly two-hour standoff Tuesday evening, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney said at a news conference Wednesday.

Todd Jones died at the scene of the shooting -- the Countryside Village Mobile Home Park in the 9900 block of Beach Boulevard. Police said Jones stabbed his 59-year-old stepfather, Elbert Lilley, after calling him to the home.

Hackney said the two had been family members for more than 20 years. He said Lilley was married to Jones' mom, who died April 19 after a short battle with cancer.

"The two had lived in the trailer for some period of time," Hackney said. "When it was obvious that Jones and Lilley could not get along, an ultimatum was given by Mrs. Lilley about one of the two of them leaving the trailer. They decided at that point in time that Mr. Lilley would move."


He moved to the beach, where he lived alone for some time. Lilley owned the trailer, and after his wife died, he told Jones he needed to find somewhere else to live.

Hackney said when Lilley went to the home Tuesday at Jones' request, Jones threw the door open and immediately screamed at him to "die die," then stabbed him in the chest with a makeshift spear -- a PVC pipe with a knife attached to it.

The two fell to the ground, and Lilley told police Jones was trying to take a black handgun from Lilley's pocket.

"The gun got hung up on his pocket, and that gave Mr. Lilley a chance to escape," Hackney said.

He ran to a neighbor's house and called 911.

Lilley was flown to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He has since been upgraded to serious condition.

When police arrived, Lilley told them Jones had gone into the trailer armed with a gun and a knife. Lilley told police he thought Jones was suicidal based on the ambush.

Police said Jones did not cooperate with their request to come out of the home. The SWAT team was called out and established a perimeter about 6 p.m.

About two hours later, police said, Jones threw the front door open and ran out screaming. Hackney said Jones was holding a handgun when he charged one of the officers. 

Three officers shot Jones with their department-issued AR-15 rifles. Those officers were Sgt. Joel Weeks, a 20-year veteran, and Officer Robert Holmes, a six-year veteran, and Officer Angel Santiago, a four-year veteran. All three were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in a police-involved shooting.

This was Weeks' fourth police-involved shooting and the first for Holmes and Santiago.

Hackney said a total of 21 shots were fired by the officers, and Jones was struck at least 11 times, including in the chest.

Hackney said the gun recovered from Jones turned out to be a pellet gun.

Jones' only previous encounter with police was a domestic disturbance with Lilley in 2009. No charges were filed.

"That makes this an obvious suicide by cop in our opinion," Hackney said. "He exited the trailer holding what he knew not to be a firearm, charging officers that he knew to be armed with that. Couple that with Mr. Lilley's assessment of his actions earlier clearly makes that a suicide by cop."

No officers were injured in the shooting.