Cop Shoots Ax-Wielding Man Who Tried to Enter Elementary School, Days After He Completed Mental Health Treatment and Got Off Probation

Florida police officers killed and shot an ax-wielding suspect trying to enter a school’s elementary last week. After completing mental health treatment, Eric David Hurley was released from probation and killed by Florida police officers.

But what about the details?

WJXT TV reported that Hurley, 37, tried to enter Ruth N. Upson Elementary School in Jacksonville Friday afternoon.

According to the school’s entry clerk, Hurley was carrying an Axe on his shoulder. Then he stated to her, “You want me to follow?” The station took note.

Diana Greene, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, said the suspect wasn’t allowed inside the building and that a school safety assistant followed him a short distance to ensure there was no longer a threat to the school, WJXT said.

Others reported that Hurley followed them on the sidewalk, sometimes with the ax over their heads. WJXT cited a police report. WJXT said that Hurley and the other suspects entered Murray Hill Church, Post Street, and then hid in a classroom. Hurley fled.

Hurley was met by Duval County Public Schools officials in the church’s parking lot. They advised him to quit using the ax. The station said that it was of no use.

WJXT reports that the subject approached an officer and was given verbal instructions by the officers to drop the ax Police chief Greg Burton.

Alexis Daniels told the station she saw the confrontation from her street window.

WJXT’s Daniels said that Daniels was walking calmly towards him, taking wide, slow steps, and raising his ax. Drop your weapon. Although he didn’t drop the weapon, he continued to approach the cop.

Daniels added to the station that “three shots” were fired, after which Hurley “stumbled back and still had the weapon drawn. And two more shots and he was gone. He fell to the floor.”

Where is the suspect?

Hurley was hospitalized in critical condition, WJXT said. He was absentee-booked on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, trespassing on school property with a weapon, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, the Florida Times-Union reported, citing jail records.

According to the station, Hurley is being held on a $110,000 bond.

Evaluations for mental health

Hurley had just completed Duval County Mental Health Court before he allegedly tried to enter the elementary school. According to the Times-Union, a judge ended Hurley’s probation after he was convicted of felony auto theft in 2018. According to court records, police claimed that they found “a small hatchet”.

Hurley approached a worker in a car dealership after hours and said that he needed a vehicle. He also had a gun. The Times-Union reported that Hurley stole the key to a Nissan from an employee who tried to retrieve it.

The vehicle was discovered outside a Brunswick, Georgia motel. The newspaper reported that officers found a hatchet inside the vehicle.

Hurley was found incompetent for trial after a court-ordered psychologist assessment. Hurley was then committed to a state hospital by the judge. The judge ordered Hurley to undergo a series of Mental Health Court reviews.

Hurley was found competent, and he pleaded guilty to grand theft auto on Sept. 28, 2020. Court records indicate that Hurley was also placed on five years of supervised release.