Deputies: Suspect killed had knife, didn't comply
Investigators say 51-year-old was trying to force way into estranged wife's home
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Detectives in St. Johns County released more details Monday as they continued to investigate the fatal shooting of a suspect by a deputy at a home Sunday night.
Deputies were called to a domestic disturbance just after 9 p.m. at the home on South Black Cherry Drive in the northwest part of the county.
The woman who called 911 said her estranged husband, who did not live at the home, was attempting to force his way inside. Deputies said the man, identified as 51-year-old Daniel Torres of Jacksonville, cut a window screen, opened the window and leaned inside while yelling at a woman in the home.
The woman then called Torres' wife, who was not at home at the time, and she, in turn, called 911, deputies said.
The woman in the home grabbed two children also with her and ran out the rear door as deputies arrived.
Torres and his wife have been separated since 2008, deputies said.
Deputies Christina Dobbs and Kyle Braig approached the home on foot and addressed Torres at the front door, according to the Sheriff's Office. They said Torres turned toward them while holding a knife. Deputies said he was given commands but refused to comply, forcing Dobbs to fire her rifle, striking and killing him.
"He turned around with the knife in his hand in a close proximity," Cmdr. Chuck Mulligan said. "They ordered him numerous times to drop the knife. He continued to act aggressively, and shots were fired at Torres."
Neighbor Matt Owens said he isn't surprised that the situation on the quiet street turned violent. He said when Torres couldn't initially get into the house, he tried to gain access to a neighbor's house as well.
"He was knocking on someone else's door, also," Owens said. "I don't know if he was under the influence of drugs or intoxicated, what have you, but it's a bad story, bad news."
The medical examiner is performing an autopsy.
Dobbs, who has been with the Sheriff's Office since 2007, was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in a deputy-involved shooting.
Court records show Torres was undergoing mental health treatments. He'd been arrested previously for theft, drugs and resisting arrest.
An internal investigation will later determine whether deadly force was justified.
This marks the fourth deputy-involved shooting in St. Johns County this year.
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