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Murder suspect is shot and killed during attempted arrest by Jacksonville police

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Police block Ernest Street in Jacksonville's Riverside neighborhood where officers killed a murder suspect trying to evade arrest Tuesday.

Police block Ernest Street in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood where officers killed a murder suspect trying to evade arrest Tuesday.

Five Jacksonville police officers opened fire on a murder suspect driving toward them during an attempted arrest in Riverside, killing him on scene, the Sheriff’s Office said. He becomes the eighth suspect killed during police confrontations this year in Jacksonville.

Chief Mark Romano said it happened about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday in the 2200 block of Ernest Street off Stockton Street. The Sheriff’s Office criminal apprehension unit had been surveilling the unidentified suspect at a home and moved to take him into custody when he came out to his vehicle.

He ran behind his house into a nearby alleyway with officers in pursuit. He was ordered to stop, but instead pulled a rifle out from beneath his hoodie, Romano said. That prompted an officer to fire at him one time.

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He doubled back to the house and was able to get into his vehicle. He was again told to stop but accelerated toward the five officers, the chief said. All five fired multiple times, and he was shot and killed. Romano noted the officers were wearing vests that identified them as police.

Romano said it was not known if the suspect — later identified as 29-year-old Tyree Devon O’Neal Jr. — ever fired the rifle.

This is the weapon the Sheriff's Office said the suspect pulled on officers before he was shot and killed Tuesday on Ernest Street.

This is the weapon the Sheriff’s Office said the suspect pulled on officers before he was shot and killed Tuesday on Ernest Street.

The Sheriff’s Office also did not specify which murder he was wanted in but did say it also involved an attempted murder.

The Florida Department of Corrections shows O’Neal was released from prison on Nov. 7, 2021, after a 10-year sentence for aggravated battery of a pregnant victim, grand theft and burglary. He was arrested again less than three weeks later on two charges of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was released on April 9 on $150,000 bond for those charges, but Duval County court records show on Nov. 1 his bond was ordered at none after failing to appear in court.

Times-Union records show he was the 10th person shot by Jacksonville police this year and eighth who died. All of last year there were six suspects shot by officers, three fatally.

Three officer-involved shootings in November

Two other police shootings have taken place this month.

On Nov. 5, Javon Tyrone Jones, 37, was shot by three officers during a confrontation at a Scottish Inn on Philips Highway. He had initially been hospitalized in critical condition but died a few days later.

It began with a 911 call about 3:15 a.m. to the motel where someone had been reported shot. Officers were initially unable to find a victim but witnessed Jones shoot at a vehicle pulling into the parking lot, Chief Brian Kee said at the time.

The three officers ordered Jones to drop the weapon and shot him when he did not, Kee said. His family said he was struck six times, including twice in the head.

A 23-year-old man was later found dead inside a room at the motel with what appeared to be at least one gunshot wound, the Sheriff’s Office said. It was not clear if Jones was involved.

Murders on the decline: In 2021, Jacksonville’s homicide total dropped 30 percent. But it wasn’t enough to save Robin Clemons’ son.

On Nov. 2, Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives shot and killed a man suspected in a fentanyl-overdose death.

Undercover detectives doing surveillance on 50-year-old Matthew Orlando Dilworth tried to pull his van over, but he got out and ran. They ordered him to stop, but he pulled out a handgun and fired at two detectives who then returned fire, Kee said.

The gunman took off and was jumping fences until he tried to hide in a wooded area off Broadway and Edgewood avenues. About 10 minutes later he encountered two more detectives and opened fire on them. They shot back, and this time struck him in a front yard.

No officers were harmed.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville police officers shoot and kill murder suspect

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