The Voice of the Gem City

News June 6, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A man has died after an officer-involved shooting in St. Augustine Sunday afternoon, according to law enforcement. About 5 p.m. an individual called 9-1-1 saying he was armed with a weapon, later determined to be a handgun. At 5:13 p.m. St. Augustine Police officers and St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies arrived in the area of South Dixie Highway and Isabel Street and found a white male sitting on the front porch of a residence. The man, whose identity has not been released, pointed a gun to his head and chest threatening to shoot himself, according to a police report. Negotiations went on for about 30 to 45 minutes and the man put down his gun, but then armed himself with at least two knives. He left the porch and went onto the roadway charging towards law enforcement with a knife in each hand. Less lethal 40 mm rounds were fired at him, said the report, but he continued charged toward law enforcement and officers and deputies discharged their firearms, incapacitating the man. Officers and fire rescue used CRP before taking the man to Flagler Hospital where he was pronounced dead. No law enforcement officials were injured. As is policy, personnel involved in the shooting are on administrative leave. St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident.

Palatka Police are investigating a shooting near Eighth and Olive streets in Palatka Saturday, according to a report from the Palatka Police Department. A trauma alert was issued and fire rescue was called in for an individual with a gunshot wound. 

Putnam County Fire Rescue reports responding to a fire Friday  night after smoke was spotted in the area of Keuka Road and State Road 20 near Interlachen. Engine 7 arrived and found an ongoing fire at the WastePro Landfill in Interlachen. Additional units responded and a water shuttle and heavy equipment was used to bring the fire under control, according to Putnam Fire Rescue Local 3529. Firefighters first arrived at 8:18 p.m. Friday and were at the fire until almost 4 a.m. Saturday. Also responding were Tankers 4, 14 and 17, Squad 87, Districts 72, 4 and 17 and Utility 17. 

On Saturday Palatka firefighters assisted by Putnam County Fire Rescue were called to an apartment fire at Holly Ridge Apartments on St. Johns Avenue. The fire was small and contained to one third floor apartment. A smoke inhalation patient was evaluated and smoke ventilated from the structure.

Palatka Police Department continues with its quarterly zone meetings on Tuesday. Designed to keep the public informed, the meeting is at 6 p.m. at Price-Martin Center on North 11th Street. The zone being discussed is from North Eighth Street to North 11th Street from Main Street to Dunham Street.

School teachers and students may be out for the summer, but some school food workers are continuing on duty serving up breakfasts and lunches for children 18 and under during free school summer feeding programs. You can call school districts in Putnam, St. Johns or Flagler counties to find exact locations on go online to the districts to find out where meals are being served. 

No applications are necessary, say officials.

The pilot of a light-weight single-engine plane knows he’s one lucky man after setting down safely on the Tolomato River near downtown St. Augustine Sunday. Federal Aviation Administration personnel contacted 9-1-1 to let them know the plane had landed just north of Vilano Beach Bridge shortly before 7 a.m. after losing power. The pilot was flying north over St. Augustine when he had to make the emergency landing. The pilot was able to get out of the plane and a boater helped out towing the aircraft to keep it afloat about 500 yards north of the bridge. The pilot reportedly was not injured. St. Augustine Fire Department, St. Johns County Fire Rescue, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol were at the scene.

It’s a good day to remember freedom doesn’t come cheap. Today is the 78th anniversary of D-Day, when Operation Overlord began and Allied troops including Americans, British, Canadians and others landed at Normandy by boat and parachute. It was the beginning of the tide turning against the German Nazis and Adolph Hitler in Europe.  It’s the first large ceremony since Covid-19 began restrictions two years ago.

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