Man who tried to enter Jacksonville elementary school wielding ax identified

Person shot said to be in critical condition, according to DCPS police chief

A man carrying a large ax attempted to gain entry Friday afternoon to Ruth N. Upson Elementary School, according to the Duval County school superintendent, and the DCPS police chief said that person then left the campus and was later shot by a DCPS officer after refusing commands to drop his weapon.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man carrying a large ax who attempted to gain entry Friday afternoon to Ruth N. Upson Elementary School and was shot by a Duval County Public School officer has been identified by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

JSO identified the man as 37-year-old Eric Hurley.

A report said Hurley was shot by a DCPS officer after refusing commands to drop his weapon.

Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said it happened at about 2:48 p.m. She said a man approached the entrance and that school staff followed procedures, not allowing him inside. Then, the school went into lockdown.

“Our staff followed their training, kept all of our students and staff community safe,” Greene said.

The superintendent said the man left the campus and school police intervened. A school safety assistant followed the man a short distance but remained on campus to ensure there was no further threat to the school.

“Police officers from the Duval County School Police Department were on the way. As the subject then left the school, he made his way towards a church where he was then encountered by the police officers,” DCPS Police Chief Greg Burton said. “As the subject came towards one of the police officers, the officers gave him verbal warnings to drop the ax, kept giving him verbal warnings to drop the ax.

“At that time, the subject threatened the officer with the ax. The subject then was shot at least one time as the officer discharged his service weapon,” Burton said.

Click below to watch uncut interview with police chief, school superintendent

A man carrying a large ax attempted to gain entry Friday afternoon to Ruth N. Upson Elementary School, according to the Duval County school superintendent, and the DCPS police chief said that person then left the campus and was later shot by a DCPS officer after refusing commands to drop his weapon.

Burton said Hurley was in critical condition. The lockdown was eventually lifted for dismissal.

Hurley has been charged with aggravated assault on law enforcement, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and trespassing on school property with a firearm.

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A man carrying a large ax attempted to gain entry Friday afternoon to Ruth N. Upson Elementary School, according to the Duval County school superintendent, and the DCPS police chief said that person then left the campus and was later shot by a DCPS officer after refusing commands to drop his weapon.

About the Authors:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.

Lifetime Jacksonville resident & broadcast news producer who's been reporting & writing for nearly a decade here at The Local Station.