JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A pair Jacksonville Sheriff's Office K-9 deputies shot and killed a man in on Old Plank Road Sunday afternoon while he was on the phone with his mother, according to authorities.
At a press conference Monday afternoon, police identified the man killed as Richard Francis Compo, Jr., 36, of Jacksonville.
Police said he had shot at officers 7 times, nearly missing one, and had been brandishing a rifle at them as well.
Chief Tom Hackney with JSO said that officers were originally responding to a call of domestic violence in west side Jacksonville earlier that morning.
The victim of the domestic violence call escaped her husband, who police said they believe had been abusing her for at least the past week, and sought out a nearby Baptist church. She used the church's phone to contact police.
When officers arrived, they could clearly tell that the woman was a victim of domestic battery and had been for sometime. The first injunction filed against Compo by his wife was back in 2009.
At that point, she directed officers to her home that she shared with her husband, where the abuse had been taking place. Deputies set up a perimeter and tried to talk to Compo. Police said he was uncooperative.
K-9 units were also dispatched to the scene, Hackney said.
Officers tried to get him to cooperate for some period of time, but eventually the decision was made to call out SWAT.
While waiting for SWAT to arrive, one of the K-9 officers was manning the perimeter around the back of the house when he said he heard gunshots. That officer allegedly saw bullets hit the trees just above his head.
He promptly reported that to the other officers on scene, who then heard some kind of commotion inside and saw the suspect come out onto his front porch.
Compo had a phone in one hand and a rifle in the other, according to Hackney. When the officers noticed the suspect begin to raise the rifle like he might use it, they fired a shot at him, but missed.
He continued to raise the rifle and point it at officers while taunting them, Hackney said.
Two officers then opened fire on Compo with their issued AR-15 rifles. Both officers were K-9 officers, according to JSO. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, struck with a fatal wound to the chest. It is not clear at this time which of the officers actually hit Compo.
No injuries have been reported to any of the officers involved.
K-9 Sgt. Rob Adams and K-9 Ofc. Charlie Wilkie have been placed on administrative leave - standard practice when a law-enforcement officer shoots a suspect. JSO will investigate the shooting, and so will the State Attorney's Office.
Compo did not reportedly fire at the officers in the front of the house, but upon further investigation it became clear to JSO that he fired several times from inside the house at the officer out back.
According to Hackney, Compo was on the phone with his mother when he confronted officers from his porch, saying that he would not go down without a fight and referencing the Waco, Texas shooting from the 90s. He'd been on the phone with his mother on and off for most of Sunday.
"There's no telling where his mind was," Hackney said of the deceased suspect. However, according to Hackney, Compo was attempting to commit suicide by police.
Further investigation by officers found that Compo had been camping with two friends in Nassau County near the Florida-Georgia line. During their camping trip, one of Compo's friends was taken to the hospital after being shot in the chest.
JSO, investigating with Nassau County Sheriff's Office deputies, learned that Compo had actually been trying to kill himself, and his two friends fought to remove the gun and stop him from committing suicide. One of Compo's friends was shot during this struggle, police said.
Hackney also said that Compo had served multiple stints in jail for meth-related crimes.
Police also said that they received tips that there was an active meth lab on the suspect's property. According to Hackney, officers couldn't find it. The tips they received were from bystanders in the area and the victim of the battery indicated she thought he might.
A pastor at the Baptist church where the suspect's wife ran to escape him said that he had to calm her down she was sobbing so heavily.
"He chased her with the idea he was going to shoot her. She's scared out of her skin," Pastor Ronald Reid of West Shores Baptist Church said.
Pastor Reid said the suspect would often play loud music and shoot at targets for practice.
JSO said their preliminary investigation showed that the suspect may have had a small arsenal of weapons at the home.
Hackney explained to reporters at the press conference on Monday that he laments the officers who will have to live with having killed another person. He asked people not to point a gun at police officers - as that's how these things happen.
Brittany Dionne contributed to this report.