Yulee, FL – A Florida man who opened fire on Nassau County deputies after he lured them to his apartment with a bogus 911 call should have expected that his actions would result in him being shot, the sheriff said (video below).
“He shot at the deputies, and that was certainly the wrong thing to do,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a press conference. “He should expect to get shot, and he did.”
“He got shot a lot,” the sheriff added, matter-of-factly.
The incident unfolded on the sixth floor of the Amelia Island Surf and Racquet Club Condominiums, after 25-year-old Jason Raffaeli called 911 late Tuesday night, and claimed that three armed men were inside his apartment, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) said in a press release.
Four deputies and a sergeant were dispatched to the scene, but they arrived to learn that Raffaeli, who was alone, had barricaded himself inside of his condo.
The sergeant made contact with Raffaeli on the phone, and asked him to come outside.
Raffaeli refused, and said he was armed with a .45 caliber handgun and additional ammunition.
He told the sergeant he had barricaded himself in his bathroom.
As the NCSO Special Response Team (SRT) assembled, the officers at the scene continued their attempts to coax Raffaeli out of the apartment for nearly an hour, the sheriff’s office said.
Shots rang out just before the SRT arrived, and police were unable to reestablish communications with Raffaeli. They decided to break down the apartment door, and proceeded to deploy tear gas inside the condo to drive him out.
Suddenly, the armed man appeared in the doorway, and refused commands to drop his weapon. He retreated back inside, then reappeared again.
“Tell my daddy I love him, and make sure you shoot me in the head,” Raffaeli told the officers, according to Sheriff Leeper.
He then opened fire on the deputies.
Raffaeli was shot “several times” by SRT Sergeant Brian Blackwell, Deputy Dallas Palecek, and Deputy Scott Kelly, the department said.
Nearly three and a half hours after the bogus 911 call was placed, Raffaeli was pronounced dead.
None of the officers were injured, Sheriff Leeper said.
“We are not sure at this time what his problem was, but he had been arrested on drug charges in Connecticut in the past,” the NCSO said.
“It’s certainly something that no officer wants to go do, and something they had to do because he made them do that,” Sheriff Leeper told WJAX.
Raffaeli had a history of drug possession, weapons offenses, and criminal trespass, according to WJAX.
Investigators said this was also not the first time that Raffaeli had been in a shootout.
In July of 2016, he was found lying in the roadway, riddled with bullets. He had been shot in the chest, legs, and abdomen, but managed to survive.
He fled from narcotics and organized crime officers in September of 2017, and discarded a loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic Smith and Wesson as he ran, WJAX reported.
The SRT members involved in the fatal shooting have been placed on administrative leave, as per protocol, the department said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was handling the investigation, according to the sheriff.
You can see the statements from Sheriff Leeper’s press conference below: