Wanted man with gun killed in confrontation with St. Johns County deputies


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A 64-year-old St. Johns County man was shot and killed in a home in a deputy-involved shooting Wednesday afternoon, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they were called to the mobile home in the 300 block of Katnack Road off U.S. 1, north of St. Augustine, about 12:30 p.m. when residents reported they were being threatened by a man with a gun.

Deputies said the suspect, Rodney Stevens, had three outstanding warrants on charges of grand theft auto, felony battery and witness tampering.

Authorities said when family members tried to convince Stevens to turn himself in, he began to threaten them with a gun and said he would shoot any law enforcement officer that showed up.

When deputies arrived, Stevens came out of the home and ran back in, threatening to arm himself with a gun after he spotted the deputies, investigators said.

The deputies went into the home and confronted Stevens in a rear bedroom when a shot was fired. Stevens died at the scene.

"We would have all liked to have seen this resolved differently, but again, if someone takes three or four seconds and they engage law enforcement with a firearm, we're going to react to that," Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said.

No deputies or anyone else in the home was injured.

Stevens has a long history of arrests, including multiple times for domestic battery, drugs and DUI. (Photo of Stevens from 2007 arrest.)

"All I can say is this is a bad day for all of us that knew him, because he wasn't a bad guy," a friend of Stevens' said. "It's kind of scary because his daughter lived at the same house, and I was watching through binoculars and I saw his daughter freak out in the street, and then I heard a gunshot right away and then it was done."

Friends and neighbors are now trying to accept what, despite their friend's problems, they never would have expected.

"He was a good guy. I don't know what was going on in his head, but apparently there were some things," the friend added. "In the last couple of weeks there's been problems, and I believe there may have been drugs or alcohol involved."