JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The man accused of shooting a Jacksonville Beach police officer last month in a shootout along Beach Boulevard pleaded not guilty Thursday at his arraignment on four counts of attempted murder.
Cpl. William Eierman was hit by a bullet during an exchange of gunfire with Jovan Sisljagic. While there's still no clear motive for the shooting, officers said Sisljagic has a history of mental health issues.
Sisljagic, 27, has been held without bail at the Duval County since his release from the hospital, where he was treated for three gunshot wounds.
In addition to Eierman being shot in the shoulder and foot, two police vehicles and several cars in the Waffle House parking lot were hit by gunfire. Police said they recovered a handgun at the scene.
A week after the incident, after Eierman's release from the hospital, he was honored at the Jaguars game.
A search of online court records found Sisljagic hasn’t had many brushes with the law. In fact, aside from traffic tickets, he’s only faced criminal charges twice, both times for nonviolent incidents.
He avoided conviction after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge from a December 2010 incident. The story was the same with a February 2010 reckless driving charge.
A woman who used to lives near Sisljagic said she was not surprised to learn he was suspected in the shooting. She remembered Sisljagic as an unruly adolescent.
“He used to ride a motorcycle up and down the street really fast,” the woman said. “But he talked to his parents really bad. He used bad language talking to his dad out in the yard all the time.”
Despite her characterization of his behavior, the neighbor said it never resulted in any crimes and she never saw police called to the family’s home.
Sisljagic is due back in court Oct. 18.