ORANGE PARK, Fla. – An armed suspect shot and killed by two SWAT deputies during a drug raid at an Orange Park home Thursday afternoon has been identified by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
Michael Sword, 56, had a warrant out for his arrest and refused to comply with deputies serving the warrant Thursday evening at a home on Bay Hill Boulevard in the Tanglewood neighborhood, the Sheriff's Office said.
Four of the five people inside complied with deputies' demands and exited the home, but Sword barricaded himself inside, deputies said.
When SWAT went in, Sword flashed a gun and that's when two deputies fired shots, killing him, Sheriff Darryl Daniels said.
Jermaine Edwards, who rents a room in the Bay Hill home and was one of the four people who cooperated with deputies Thursday, told News4Jax that Sword was a known drug dealer. He said he wasn't surprised by the outcome because Sword said he wasn't going back to prison.
"I feel like he ultimately wanted this ending, so I don't feel too sad about it," Edwards said.
Sword served time in prison twice, News4Jax has learned. He spent 10 months in prison in 2008 for grand theft and six months in prison in 2015 for selling marijuana. He has charges dating back to 2002 that include felony aggravated assault, felony drug possession and theft.
Detectives said Edwards and the other three people were questioned and released. The two SWAT deputies who shot the man were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
Edwards said he was in his room when the SWAT team moved in, ordering people out of the house.
"I heard very loud noises. That's what made me get up and leave my room," Edwards said. "As soon as I walked out the back door I saw, you know, armored people and police and I threw my hands up and I submitted to them."
Edwards said he'll be moving out of the house now.
"I know everyone on our street is really shocked right now because of what happened. I think everyone knew it was going to happen, I just didn't know the exact time," said Sarah Ethridge, who knew Sword.
The arrest and narcotics warrants were being served in the same neighborhood as Daniels’ inaugural Community Walk last week, during which residents told him and deputies about drug activity in their neighborhood.
A man who lives nearby told News4Jax that the area is filled with drugs, and he doesn't expect the problem to stop any time soon.
"My mom, when we moved into our apartment, it was raided and we found drugs in the attic, so this is something that is common in this area," Travis Velez said.
Daniels said he's making it his mission to clean up the streets.
"I said before, that the clock was ticking. I said, once I got elected, that time was up. So I will say it again. Those who are committing crimes in Clay County -- time is up. You got options, you can leave the county or we're going to come," Daniels said.
Daniels did not elaborate on what types of drugs were being looked for at the home Thursday, and said it was unclear whether any drugs were ever found inside.