Man who barricaded himself in Westside home dies

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says no SWAT team officers fired their weapons

By Francine Frazier - Senior web editor, Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After hours of trying to talk to a man barricaded inside a Westside home on Friday night, a SWAT team entered to find him dead.

About 7 p.m. the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office went to a home on Phyllis Street near South McDuff Avenue looking for Eddie Miller Jr., who had outstanding warrants for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.  Officers confirmed he was inside, but he refused to come out.

A SWAT team surrounded the house and a police negotiator was on site, asking Miller to surrender.

"You have a warrant for your arrest. You need to come outside. Do it now," a JSO negotiator could be heard saying over a loudspeaker. "You are resisting my orders. Once I leave, you're going to have someone else to deal with. If you want to keep the deal we talked about, you need to come out now. ... You said you'd be out in a minute. Your minute's up. You need to come out now. ... Quit being a coward and step outside. You keep saying you're scared. There's nothing to be scared of. We're the police. We're here to protect you."

Officers with rifles were seen walking around, and residents nearby were advised by police to remain in their homes.

After four hours without contact, as SWAT team officers approached the front of the house with the intention of entering the front door, they heard a single gunshot from inside.

Officers poked a pole camera into one of the bedroom windows and "observed him lying on the floor and he was unresponsive," said Chief of Patrol Michelle Cook.

None of the officers used weapons in the standoff. It wasn't immediately known how Miller died.

"We do know that he did not die at the hands of a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office police officer," Cook told the media just after midnight. "Beyond that homicide is going to come out and do their investigation."

At first, Miller alluded that there was someone else in the home, but officers found out that he was alone.

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