Man at center of SWAT standoff identified as ‘sole suspect’ in woman’s killing, deputies say

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office: Woman killed in domestic violence incident

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A man at the center of a SWAT standoff Sunday in Clay County was identified as the “sole suspect” in the killing of a woman in St. Johns County, authorities said Monday.

According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Gregory Wayne Hopkins, 54, and the woman, whose name and age were not released, were in a relationship.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said it received a call Sunday morning from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office about a man, identified as Hopkins, who had driven a vehicle into a home in Fleming Island and barricaded himself inside. Based on the man’s statements, St. Johns County deputies responded to a home in the northwest part of St. Johns County to check on the welfare of a resident. After several attempts to make contact, the deputies forced their way into the home on Ivy Lakes Drive and found a woman dead. Deputies said she suffered traumatic injuries.

Meanwhile in Fleming Island, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team worked for hours to try to get the man to peacefully exit the house, which Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook said he did not own. Eventually, with the help of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, members of the Clay County SWAT team entered the home and found him dead. Deputies said Hopkins sustained a self-inflected gunshot wound.

On Monday morning, the medical examiner completed the autopsy on the woman and ruled her death a homicide caused by gunshot wounds, according to deputies.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said “this incident is the result of domestic violence.”

The woman’s neighbors were shocked by what happened in their quiet community.

“Nothing ever like this here in the neighborhood. She was a quiet woman. I didn’t expect when I came outside to see crime scene tape in my neighborhood,” said neighbor Susan Duzick. “It happens in other places all the time, you always think it doesn’t happen by me.”

“I mean I have not heard of any violence of much of anything in this area,” neighbor Daivd Holt said. “It’s about as safe as it gets.”

Resources

If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of domestic violence or abuse, there are local resources available:

  • The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline, which will direct you to the nearest shelter, is 1-800-500-1119.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
  • The Betty Griffin Center in St. Johns County can be reached at 904-824-1555
  • The hotline number of Quigley House in Clay County is 904-284-0061.
  • The hotline number of Micah’s Place in Nassau County is 904-225-9979.
  • The Hubbard House in Jacksonville can be reached by dialing 904-354-3114.

In addition, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone who is in a relationship involving domestic violence or who knows someone who is to contact the agency by calling 911 for emergencies or 904-824-8304 for nonemergencies.


About the Authors: