The police shooting of a man who tried to enter a Jacksonville elementary school wielding an ax in October 2022 has been ruled justifiable, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
Eric Hurley, 37, was shot multiple times by a Duval County School Police officer after he confronted Hurley when he saw him with an axe near Ruth Upson Elementary School.
The final report from the SAO’s investigation reveals Hurley tried to get into the school, but the doors were locked.
According to the report, a school employee on front desk duty saw Hurley standing outside the door and asked him what he wanted, as to what Hurley responded, “Do you want to be next?”
The school employee initiated a “Code Red” lockdown and called the police.
Two women, who were also outside at the same time Hurley was there, headed to a nearby church for safety, afraid they would be attacked. According to the SAO, Hurley “aggressively” followed them.
When the police officer arrived at the church and confronted Hurley, he had both hands on the axe and ignored commands to drop it while walking “aggressively” toward the officer.
When Hurley got within 6-8 feet, the officer fired several times.
Hurley was hit, dropped the axe but remained on his feet. He bent down to pick up the axe again, and the officer shot him several more times, until he fell to the ground and was “no longer a threat,” according to the report.
Hurley went down and was handcuffed.
The report states that Hurley was transported to UF Health and survived his injuries.
After reviewing this incident, the SAO determined the officer’s “use of deadly force was reasonable and justified.”
According to the SAO, while charges associated with this case were pending against him, Hurley was shot and killed in an unrelated out-of-county officer-involved incident.