Deputies ID man killed running from crime scene

19-year-old suspected in domestic violence, stabbing cases hit by 2 cars


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies have released the name of a domestic violence suspect killed Wednesday night when he was struck by two cars in St. Johns County.

David James Cooley, 19, died at the scene of the crash on State Road 16, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

The Sheriff's Office said it received a call just before 9 p.m. about a man beating his 23-year-old pregnant girlfriend at a home on C H Arnold Road. Deputies responded to a home on SR 16 at 9:40 p.m. after a 28-year-old man was stabbed. Cooley was suspected in both incidents.

Before deputies arrived at the SR 16 home, Cooley ran from the house and was hit by a westbound vehicle and then by an eastbound vehicle on SR 16.

St. Johns County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Kelshaw said deputies had multiple encounters with Cooley as a minor, but none since he turned 18.

He said Cooley had an argument with his girlfriend Wednesday night because she wouldn't give him money to buy drugs.

The incident report says the girlfriend told police that Cooley had been drinking at a gathering. After the domestic violence call, Cooley left before deputies arrived.

A little less than an hour later, the Sheriff's Office got a call about a disturbance at a home not far away and suspected that the two incidents were related, Kelshaw said.

"As our deputies were approaching and looking for the residents -- the area is a very dark area of road that time of night -- as they were approaching, they heard a thump as the individual got struck by a car that was traveling westbound and then hit again by a car traveling eastbound," Kelshaw said.

The offense report said the two deputies had to jump into a ditch to avoid being hit by one of the cars. Deputies said the 28-year-old who was at the second house was stabbed in his left arm and his back with a kitchen knife.

That man's mother was outside the house when News4Jax went by the home. She was cleaning up glass from a window and door that were broken during the incident, but she asked reporters to leave the property. 

The Sheriff's Office said Cooley's girlfriend had some bruising and marks on her neck and head from the incident, but she and the stabbing victim are expected to be OK.

The Florida Highway Patrol, which is investigating the fatal crash, said 21-year-old Candace Mcentyre was driving west on SR 16 just west of St. James Avenue when Cooley darted in front of her. She told troopers that she tried to avoid hitting him, but couldn't.

The FHP report said a second car driven by 70-year-old Roger Masa also struck Cooley in the road.

None of the motorists were injured. The names and conditions of the victims in the other incidents have not been released. 

Both FHP and the Sheriff's Office investigations are ongoing.