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Police ID shooter in apparent murder/suicide

Nassau County Sheriff's Office investigating Amelia Island case

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FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Police have identified the man who they said shot and killed one man, before turning the gun on himself in what police said was an apparent murder/suicide at a halfway house in Fernandina Beach.

Police were called to the home on Amelia Island on Wednesday evening after receiving reports of gunshots from neighbors. 

The man who investigators said was killed was the homeowner, Paul Auld, a registered sex predator who neighbors weren't happy to have running a halfway house in their neighborhood.

A debate is now raging in the area on whether people with less than perfect pasts, like the residents of the halfway house, including ex-cons and former drug addicts, should be allowed to live in a residential neighborhood. 

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The Nassau County Sheriff's Office is investigating the situation after deputies were called to the house, located on Marian Drive, at about 3:45 p.m. because of reports of shots being fired, Capt. Gregory Foster said.

Foster would not release details, because the investigation is ongoing but said, "We do not feel that there is any danger to any of the community at this point."

Deputies are still working to discover a motive for the shooting. Foster said a gun was recovered at the scene, but it's unclear if that was the weapon used in the shooting.

Foster said while the investigation continues, people in the neighborhood will be escorted to and from their homes.

Neighbors who live in the area aren't afraid to say that the area is a nice upscale part of Nassau County, and they weren't happy when they heard a halfway house was going in. Now, they say their fears have been realized.

"I don't like that it's there. This is a very nice area in Fernandina. I'm surprised it's there. Something like that should be way off in the woods," neighbor Christine Colley said. "It's very unusual for this side of the island. First off, it's very unusual for any part of the island, let alone this part of the island."

The violence at the home has now left the other residents of the home in limbo. Residents like Chris Collins who said there's never been violence like this at the house before and is worried that this case will give neighbors or Nassau County some sort of legal backing to force them to move.

"I'm kind of in shock about it. Surprised that it even happened. Kind of flabbergasted about it," Collins said. "(Paul Auld) was a great guy. He was a good friend of mine. (He) looked out for me very much, great friend."

So far, investigators have not released the name of the other man who was killed, the one who they said committed the murder then killed himself.

Officials are still working to notify his family. 


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