Man jailed in Coast Guard member’s killing pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder, armed burglary

A man who was arrested in connection to the deadly shooting of a U.S. Coast Guard member pleaded guilty to charges Tuesday, according to court records.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who was arrested in connection to the deadly shooting of a U.S. Coast Guard member pleaded guilty to charges Tuesday, according to court records.

Tyree Parker appeared in court, where he pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder and armed burglary, records show. According to the State Attorney’s Office, Parker faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison with the plea.

Caroline Schollaert, 27, was shot and killed outside her home in Riverside back in August 2021. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said 911 dispatchers received a call from a woman as she was attempting to confront a burglar outside her Myra Street home.

During the confrontation, while she was still on the phone with the dispatcher, the burglar fired a single gunshot and then ran off, police said. Schollaert, found unconscious in her driveway, was rushed to a hospital by first responders, but later died.

Schollaert was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron.

“She was a caring person who never gave up and put others first,” Chris Gagliardi, captain of Indian Neck Pine Orchard Company 9 in Branford, Connecticut, told News4JAX in August 2021.

Gagliardi said Schollaert was a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the department for about three years.

Schollaert’s father, Pat, also spoke with News4JAX after his daughter’s death — and was confident an arrest would be made. A $20,000 reward was offered for information in Schollaert’s death.

He said his daughter always rooted for the underdog, advocated for women in the military and was killed just days after getting engaged.

“I won’t be able to walk her down the aisle, I won’t be able to see her grow,” her father said Tuesday. “Not only did he rob me, he robbed her fiancé, my wife, her brother, her family.”

We spoke with Pat Schollaert after learning of the guilty plea.

“It’s not a surprise. I knew the evidence was overwhelming against him,” he said. “I guess it was a relief that he’s finally coming to the end of his line and really doesn’t have many other options.”

Evidence, including surveillance footage of Parker near the scene, linked him to the crime. The Sheriff’s Office said he used a gun that had been reported stolen about a week before.

When asked what justice might look like for the father, “I think short of him never seeing the light of day again,” he replied.

A sentencing hearing for Parker is scheduled for Oct. 4.

Tyree Parker (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

About the Authors:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.

Lifetime Jacksonville resident, journalist and experienced broadcast news producer with a passion for classic and exotic cars.