Police identify bank robber found dead in Westside home following standoff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police identified a bank robbery suspect who fired a shot at officers outside a Westside home Friday and was found dead inside about four hours after a SWAT standoff began, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Office Director Ron Lendvay said the first officers at the home on Patrice Court, off Ricker Road, found a woman and children in the home and got them out safely. Lendvay said Terrence Randolph King, 29, was still inside with a gun, and when police tried to contact him, he opened the door, shouted some profanities and fired one shot at officers.

“The officer perceived him as a threat after he’d opened the door seconds earlier and fired a shot,” Lendvay said.

A JSO officer fired a number of shots at King, hitting him with a single shot to the hip.

In a phone call with family members during the standoff, King expressed remorse for making a bad decision, apologized and said he was going to kill himself. After a period of time with no contact, SWAT officers forced the front door open and found a man with a gunshot to the head and a handgun on his body.

Officials said the medical examiner confirmed King’s death was a suicide.

Residents in the area told News4Jax that they heard between five and eight shots.

“I heard one gunshot and then I heard, I guess, the police firing back,” neighbor Emma West said. “It hurts when someone does something wrong … so he gets killed. It doesn’t hurt just one person, (it) hurts a whole family.”

IMAGES: Holdup, standoff ends with gunman dead

The incident started about 9:30 a.m., 20 minutes after police said King held up the Wells Fargo branch on San Juan Avenue at Herschel Street wearing a Batman mask.

The officer who fired at the man was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

Bank robbery investigation

Lendvay said on Saturday that King had entered Wells Fargo about 9:15 a.m. Friday wearing a Batman mask.

Police said King showed a gun and demanded cash, and after a teller handed over some money, he left the area on foot. There were no injuries.

“In the broad daylight with people here and cars going by, I think it’s very shocking and distressing,” bank customer Helen Lane said.

Police set up a perimeter around the bank and investigated. The bank later posted a note saying it was closed the rest of the day due to an emergency and all employees left about 2:30 p.m.

“Wells Fargo’s top concern is the safety and well-being of our customers and team members, and we are thankful no one was harmed during this robbery,” the bank’s corporate communications office said in a statement. “We cannot share any additional details about the situation as there is an ongoing criminal investigation.”

Police said they connected King to the robbery because he was still wearing the same clothes that he wore matching those worn by the robber. 

Lendvay said investigators found the Batman mask and money from the bank in King’s car. 

Neighbors relieved, others still shocked when standoff ends

Ricker Road from Melvin Road to Sharbeth Drive South remained closed to traffic most of the day due to the SWAT activity and investigation. It reopened about 4:15 p.m.

People who live in the Westside neighborhood said they were relieved when the standoff ended, but other residents said they were still in shock that something so tragic took place.

WATCH: Residents relieved when neighborhood reopens

A resident who lives in the Ricker Road area told News4Jax that police called children in the house where King was reported to come to the sound of their voice, and the children did get out safely. The woman said that the house across the street was evacuated, and she was told to stay inside.

“I didn’t know them personally. They were only there for not even a whole month yet. The kids were really friendly, playing with all the other neighborhood kids,” said another woman who lives across the street. 

That woman told News4Jax that she felt trapped when police told her and her neighbors not to come outside their homes until the standoff was over.

“Fifteen minutes after that, shots were fired and we were standing on the front porch when it happened. You could hear JSO telling him that he needed to come out and if he was injured, let them know,” she said. 

A man said his daughter in a home next door to the one that police surrounded told him that she heard five or six shots. Police initially told her to get to the back of the house, then officers came in and moved her to the next subdivision, where a number of people gathered to wait out the situation.

The man said his daughter heard police asking King if he was hit or needed medical assistance, and there was no response.

The situation on Patrice Court caught everyone by surprise. But as neighbors watched the standoff through the windows of their homes, professional photographer Thomas Lewis Jr. saw it unfold through his camera lens, capturing images as authorities swarmed the area.

“I didn’t know if the guy was going to start shooting or anything like that because I saw the SWAT guy up there on the roof, and over here, I saw the tactical team with dogs over here in this yard. So I was really kind of nervous about that — but anything for the shot,” Lewis said. “I’ve been shooting since I was 13. I shoot weddings, engagements, headshots for models. I had no idea that I was going to shoot a hostage situation ever in my life.”

King’s body was removed from the home just after 5 p.m., but access to Patrice Court was still limited to residents with identification.

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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