JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police said the man shot and killed when narcotics detectives forced their way into an Arlington home Wednesday afternoon was a 34-year-old ex-convict who was holding a loaded .40-caliber handgun.
Jerry Graham Jr. was hit by five bullets fired by a SWAT officer and died at the scene.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director Mike Bruno said four other weapons were found throughout the house, as well as drugs and officers found crack cocaine cooking in the kitchen.
Also inside the home were three other adults -- all arrested on drug charges -- and two children: 5- and 7-year-old boys.
"These children are victims too. They're growing up in a crack house. They have no say," Bruno said.
Bruno said child welfare officials were contacted and that both boys are with their mother.
SWAT officer Nick Rodgers, a 12-year veteran of JSO, was on a team serving what was considered a high-risk narcotics search warrant at the home in the 200 block of Century Street, according to police.
Police said the team announced on a loudspeaker they were there to search a warrant, and when no one answered the door, they forced their way in the front door.
Police said Rodgers was still at the the door when he Graham entered the front room with a gun. Rodgers fired five shots from his .223-caliber assault rifle, all striking Graham, who died at the scene.
Police said the children were in another room, and neither they or anyone else was injured in the incident.
Bruno said the search warrant was being served by a SWAT team because Graham, who was accused of dealing cocaine, was known to have been armed before.
News4Jax found Graham was arrested several times in Duval County, charges included cocaine possession, armed robbery and for passing worthless checks.
Another man and two women all acknowledged they knew Graham was a convicted felon, yet he regularly carried a gun.
People who live in the Woodland Acres neighborhood said they are fed up with the amount of drugs, guns and illegal activities in the neighborhood. Neighbors hope this incident sends a message.
"I would just like to see more cops and more of the people doing drugs taken away," said one resident.
Per JSO protocol, Rodgers has been placed on administrative leave after Wednesday's shooting pending a review of the incident.
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.
This was the ninth police-involved shooting this year involving the JSO and the fifth that resulted in a suspect's death.