Ax-wielding man critically injured by school resource officer fatally shot by officers in an unrelated incident

JACKSONVILLE, FL - Back in October of 2022, a man wielding an ax was critically injured after trying to get inside Ruth N. Upson Elementary School. 

At the time, Superintendent Diana Greene confirmed that the suspect was shot by a Duval County school police officer after the armed mad attempted to make his way into the school. When the suspect failed to get through the already locked doors of the school, officials placed the school on lockdown.

Greene said, "He was carrying a very large ax ... The gentleman tried to get in a second door. It was locked and we immediately went into a Code Red. Again, our staff followed our training." Greg Burton, chief of the county's public schools police, added, "Working together, everyone saved the day."

Authorities have now announced that the suspect, identified as 37-year-old Eric David Hurley, was shot and killed by police in an unrelated out-of-county officer-involved critical incident while out and awaiting trial for his violent attack on the elementary school. 

This information was revealed in the State Attorney's Office newly released investigation into the school police officer's shooting that was deemed justifiable. The State Attorney's Office review did not specific when and where, but Hurley's obituary said that he died on March 4th. This was the same day that the Levy County Sheriff's Office reported a fatal shooting by deputies and the age and gender of that person reportedly match Hurley.

Hurley was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated assault and trespassing on school property with a weapon after the October 2022 incident at the elementary school. Court records reportedly show that he was released back on December 29, 2022 on a $110,000 bond.

Fast forward a few months later when deputies with the Levy Sheriff's Office were called to a report of a person attempting to commit suicide by overdose. Upon arrival, they found a 37-year-old man armed with a handgun. Officers ordered the man to drop his weapon, but he rushed at them instead and both deputies responded with deadly force. 

It is not clear why Hurley left Jacksonville, but according to court records, one day before his death his bondsman was notified that he would need to be in court on March 28th for a pretrial hearing. 

Three days prior to the elementary school incident, Hurley had graduated from Duval County Mental Health Court. A judge terminated his probation for a 2018 felony auto theft case where police said they recovered "a small hatchet." Before Hurley posted bond for the elementary school incident, his attorney reportedly sought a reduction in the bond amount.

The attorney cited the fact that Hurley's mother, stepfather and grandmother all reside in Jacksonville and that he would live with family. Other factors included the fact that he lived in Jacksonville since 2009, completed mental health court, had never failed to appear in court and that his family would provide financial resources. 

That motion was filed on December 20, 2022, but the judge never had to decide because Hurley was able to secure the $110,000 bond. 

In the elementary school incident, the State Attorney's Office concluded that the school officer's "use of deadly force was necessary to defend himself and protect others, including children, from imminent death or great bodily harm." The office stated, "We will take no futher action in this matter." 
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