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Sheriff: SWAT deputies shoot, kill armed man in drug raid

Residents told sheriff about drug activity in neighborhood during crime walk

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – An armed suspect was shot and killed by two SWAT deputies during a drug raid at an Orange Park home Thursday afternoon, Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels said.

Just before 5:30 p.m., a SWAT team served a narcotics search warrant and an arrest warrant at a home on Bay Hill Boulevard in the Tanglewood neighborhood. 

According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, four of the five people inside complied with deputies demands, and exited the home.

But a fifth person, who had the warrant out for his arrest, refused and barricaded himself inside, deputies said.

When SWAT went in, he flashed a gun and that's when two deputies fired shots, killing the man, Daniels said.

His identity has not  been released, the man had a criminal history involving drugs, according to Daniels.

Detectives said they are questioning the other four people. The two SWAT deputies who shot the man were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

"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 the man killed. 

The 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 at the home Thursday, and said it was unclear whether any drugs were ever found inside.