JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The State Attorney’s Office has ruled the July 2018 fatal shooting of a 52-year-old man by a Jacksonville police officer as justifiable.
Harold Kraai was shot and killed by Officer Richard Futch at Kraai's home on Avery Drive on the Westside after Kraai refused orders to put down an 8-inch knife, investigators said.
Kraai, who had been Baker Acted four times, had smashed the windows out of his mother's car with his bare hands and called 911, saying he wanted to die, according to the State Attorney's Office's report on the investigation into Kraai's death.
"I'm ready for anyone who walks through this (expletive) door," Kraai told dispatch.
As soon as Futch stepped out of his cruiser, Kraai, who had been sitting on the porch, picked up a large knife, “began walking briskly towards Officer Futch” and “holding the knife at shoulder height with the knife pointed at the sky,” the report said.
The report shows Kraai repeatedly yelled at Futch to kill him, and when Kraai was within 10 feet of Futch, Futch fired eight shots, hitting Kraai six times.
The State Attorney's Office said Kraai was 6 feet, 3 inches tall, weighed 267 pounds and had a history of schizophrenia and suicidal behavior.
Kraai’s family and neighbors -- including Gene Fitzpatrick, who remembered hearing the gunshots -- said they don’t feel the shooting was justified.
"I don't think it was," Fitzpatrick said. "That’s pretty sad that Harold had to go like that.”
He said he feels that way because he doesn't think Kraai would have hurt anyone.
"It just didn't make any sense to me," Fitzpatrick said.
The State Attorney's Office report included photos of the knife (seen below), the vehicle with the smashed windows (pictured above) and the scene showing the distance between Futch and Kraai (seen at the top of the article).
The Sheriff's Office's Response to Resistance Board will now determine if Futch’s use of deadly force was within departmental guidelines.