Man killed by police was convicted of murder

Officer shot killed 32-year-old who police say refused commands

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Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Thomas McMullen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 32-year-old man shot and killed Thursday by a Jacksonville police officer had been convicted of murder and attempted murder in the 1993 killing of a corrections officer and served 14 years in prison.

Thomas McMullen was released from prison in 2008.

According to court records, McMullen and four other suspects were all on bicycles when they confronted two women in a car in October 1993 in a robbery attempt. Off-duty Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Corrections Officer Tammy Jo Johnson was shot and killed. The woman driving the car was wounded.

That murder took place after the suspects robbed a man, according to court records. The group had planned to go out on their bikes and rob random targets, according to the records.

McMullen was not the shooter but was convicted of murder and attempted murder.

Since his release in July 2008, McMullen had been arrested three times: 2008 for possession of drugs and a firearm by a convicted felon, which was dropped; 2011 for drug possession with intent in which he pleaded guilty and served 84 days in jail; and 2011 for shooting into a home, which was dropped.

Police said McMullen led officers on a chase after he fired shots Thursday morning at the Cleveland Arms Apartments.

IMAGES: Police-involved shooting in Northwest Jacksonville

Police said Officer T.E. Stafford shot and killed him after he refused the officer's order to come out from under a building.

"The K-9 officer saw the suspect reach for his waistband," Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney said. "The K-9 officer discharged his firearm five times. The suspect was shot in the torso, arm and pinky toe."

Stafford was not injured.

Immediately following that shooting, it was determined McMullen no longer had a .45 caliber handgun (seen below) on him.

Hackney said several witnesses provided descriptions of the gunman and car seen leaving Cleveland Arms about 11 a.m., and responding officers spotted the vehicle at the intersection of 45th Street and Avenue B and gave chase. When McMullen got out of the car and ran, officers said he had a gun in his waistband.

Police said McMullen ran behind a house converted into a barber shop in the 5700 block of Avenue B and was seen crawling under the building. When a K-9 officer ordered him to come out, he refused and yelled profanities.

Officers said when McMullen reached toward his waist, the K-9 officer opened fire.

After the shooting, a gun was recovered along the route of the foot chase.

Hackney said it was too early to know if McMullen had a gun at the time he was shot, but "the last thing that these officers knew was that the suspect they saw go under that house was armed."

Hackney said a woman who was driving the car seen leaving Cleveland Arms and involved in the pursuit was in custody and being questioned.

Hackney said the officer, who has not been named, has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation.

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