ORANGE PARK, Fla. - A man shot and killed himself Monday afternoon inside a vacant home in Orange Park, ending a SWAT standoff that lasted several hours and forced homes in the neighborhood to be evacuated.
The standoff ended about 12:30 p.m. Monday when 22-year-old Aaron C. Shene shot and killed himself inside the vacant home at 212 Neptune Road, which is in the Bellair West neighborhood behind a Clay County Sheriff's Office substation.
According to deputies, the incident began one street over on Aries Drive, where they say Shene broke into his ex-girlfriend's house about 11:30 p.m. Sunday and held her against her will at gunpoint.
Deputies said he escaped out a window through the backyard.
Rich MacDonald said he saw it through his kitchen window across the street.
"He just kind of like hopped over the fence and went that way and then he was trying to get in Joey's backdoor, and then a minute later, the cop must have seen him," MacDonald said. "He comes over here and he told him to show his hands and as soon as he said, ‘Show me your hands,' he shot at the cop."
Deputies said the shot was an accidental discharge, not aimed at an officer. No one was injured.
Joey Buonocore said he heard what sound like someone trying to get into his backdoor last night and shortly after, he heard a gunshot.
"And that's when my fiancée came in and said she could hear someone talking about someone having a gun and shots fire," Buonocore said.
Police said after Shene ran, a helicopter and K-9 units were brought in to search for him, and officers were looking in neighbors' cars as they were leaving the neighborhood to make sure no one was hiding in the backseats.
They evacuated nearby homes and eventually found Shene just before 8 a.m. hiding inside a vacant home on Neptune Road that he had broken into. They said he barricaded himself in the house, threatening to commit suicide.
Deputies with AR15 rifles drawn guarded the area as negotiators attempted to talk Shene out of the house.
Deputies said Shene barricaded himself in a closet wrapped in a carpet with a gun. SWAT officers were about 10 feet from him in a bedroom behind a bulletproof shield. They had calmed him down and thought he was going to surrender, but he shot and killed himself. No one else was injured during the standoff.
The neighbors who were forced to evacuate have been allowed to return to their homes.
"It was pretty intense, pretty crazy knowing that it was in my backyard," Buonocore said.
Aaron Shene started posting on Facebook Sunday evening about what he planned to do. One post to his daughter said he was finally going to meet his dad. Another post said he was sorry to everyone for the people who he will hurt. At about 8 p.m. Sunday, he said goodbye.
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