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Gun incident at Jacksonville Amazon facility leads to employee's arrest

Harry Joseph Patterson, 56, was arrested at Amazon's JAX2 fulfillment center on Pecan Park Road after a dispute in the parking lot and the discovery of a loaded gun.
Credit: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
Harry Joseph Patterson, 56, was arrested at Amazon's fulfillment center on the Northside after a dispute and the discovery of a loaded gun Monday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 56-year-old employee was arrested Monday at the Amazon fulfillment center on Pecan Park Road after a dispute in the parking lot and the discovery of a loaded gun, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Harry Joseph Patterson's battery charge comes a month and a half after an attempted murder-suicide left 22-year-old employee Ebony Nicholas dead and co-worker Daisean Thomas Biffle charged with second-degree murder, the second shooting there in the past five months.

RELATED: Amazon shooting suspect pleads not guilty to murder

When a Florida Highway Patrol trooper saw two people escorting Patterson out of the building at 12900 Pecan Park Road at 9:15 a.m. Monday, the trio looking like they were involved in a dispute, the arrest report said. The trooper saw one of the people trying to stop Patterson from going to his car, then him reacting to that. So the trooper got him on the ground and handcuffed him, finding a loaded Ruger .380 gun during a search.

Amazon officials said they tried to do a random drug test on Patterson when he arrived for work because several employees noticed he was "acting in a strange manner" and could be under the influence of something, the report said. Patterson refused to take the test and started to leave the building, but employees tried to stop him so he wouldn't drive under the influence and endanger himself or others.

Amazon also fired Patterson and was set to have him barred from the premises, the report said.

Police said Patterson has a valid permit to carry the gun and no prior felony convictions.

On Sept. 29 a shooting was reported about 7:25 p.m. at the warehouse, with officers finding Nicholas and  Biffle with gunshot wounds and a weapon recovered at the scene, police said. And on June 29, a 20-year-old man applying for a job was fatally shot and two others were injured outside the facility in what the Sheriff's Office described as an ambush. The two cases are not related, police said. 

The 855,000-square-foot center began operations in 2017 and held its grand opening officially in April 2018.

Click here to read the Florida Times-Union story.

RELATED: Man shot, killed while in line to apply for job at Amazon was targeted, police say

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