JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An early morning standoff with a man who refused to get out of a pickup truck in a Woodland Acres supermarket parking lot ended when six officers opened fire after spotting the man holding a gun, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
The man, whose name has not been released, was hit by multiple bullets and died at the scene, JSO Director of Investigations Ron Lendvay said.
Lendvay said the incident started just before 4 a.m. when a patrol officer spotted a four-door pickup truck backed against the bushes in the parking lot of a Harvey's Supermarket off Arlington Road.
"He was parked in the dark area of the parking lot, outside of a closed business, backed up to bushes. I think most patrol officers doing their due diligence would consider that suspicious," Lendvay said. "He was concerned the occupant may be involved in a burglary or other criminal activity."
The officer spotlighted the truck and saw a man lying in the back seat who then jumped into the driver's seat of the four-door pickup.
Dorothy Waple, who works across the street, told News4Jax that vehicles do not normally stay in the parking lot overnight.
"That's the first time ever," she said. "The traffic that comes here does what they have to do and leaves."
According to police, the officer spoke with the man and got his name and date of birth as backup officers arrived. Lendvay said the man's name matched a felony sexual battery warrant in another jurisdiction. He did not disclose details about that warrant but said that information and the man's identity will be released at a news conference Wednesday.
Lendvay said that as officers approached the man and asked him to get out of the truck, he refused and then eventually rolled up his windows and locked himself in the vehicle.
Officers tried to talk the man out of the vehicle, but during the standoff, which lasted about 25 minutes, the man jumped back into the back seat of the truck, Lendvay said. He said the officers decided to act at that point and broke a window to deploy a stun gun, but it had no effect and the man still refused to get out of the truck.
They kept talking to him and then broke other windows of the truck and deployed a second stun gun, but it again had no effect, Lendvay said.
“The weather is cold. Depending on what you're wearing, a Taser is only going to affect you if the probes actually make contact with your skin. So depending on your movements, there's a couple of probes that have to fire and both have to make contact for that to be effective. When you're talking about close quarters, heavy clothing, a vehicle with obstacles, it's not unreasonable that you would have to try multiple times and still not be able to have the effect," Lendvay said.
An officer was able to get the driver's side door open as the man remained in the back seat, and as he rolled over toward officers, they saw a gun in his hand, Lendvay said. Six officers opened fire and the man was hit multiple times, according to JSO.
“Whenever you're in a close quarters combat situation with someone who is armed, it's always very dangerous -- potentially lethal confrontation," Lendvay said.
Rescue personnel responded but the man died at the scene, Lendvay said.
The officers who fired their weapons have all been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, per JSO protocol, Lendvay said. The Sheriff's Office said it will release their names, as well as the name of the man who was killed, on Wednesday.
The intersection of Arlington Road and Atlantic Boulevard, and some businesses were shut down or delayed opening as police investigated for hours. Sky 4 aerials showed orange spray paint markers on the ground as part of the investigation.
The truck, which had a Louisiana license plate, was towed away from the scene about 1:30 p.m.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office released a video showing a red SUV near the scene in the early morning hours and asked if anyone recognized it or knew who was driving it. Police later said they had identified the driver.