An ax-wielding man trying to get into a Florida elementary school just before dismissal was shot and critically wounded by police Friday.

The unidentified man was spotted trying to get into the locked doors at Ruth Upson Elementary School in Jacksonville at 2:48 p.m. – and even allegedly menaced parents arriving to pick up their kids, according to local reports.

A Duval County school police officer shot the man “at least once” at a nearby church, where cops confronted him for refusing to drop his weapon after he fled school grounds, officials told reporters during at news briefing.

“He was carrying a very large ax,” Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Diana Greene said, according to a News 4 Jax livestream. “We were so proud of our staff, they followed procedures not allowing him in the building.”

Duval County schools police Chief Gregory Burton and school Superintendent Diana Greene speak to reporters on Oct. 7, 2022.
Duval County schools police Chief Gregory Burton and school Superintendent Diana Greene speak to reporters on Oct. 7, 2022.
First Coast News

School security saw the man on surveillance footage trying to enter the building, then going to a second set of doors, officials said. The doors were locked under safety protocols of the school district. The building was put into lockdown and parents were sent a troubling alert about a “suspicious person allegedly carrying an ax,” News 4 reported.

School officers followed the man to a church but he refused to comply as cops shouted at him, school police Chief Gregory Burton said.

“As the subject came towards one of the police officers, the officers gave him verbal warnings to drop the ax —  they kept giving him verbal warnings to drop the ax,” Burton said.

“At that time, the suspect threatened the officer with the ax,” Burton recounted. “The suspect was then shot at least one time as the officer discharged his service weapon.”

The suspect was hospitalized in critical condition, Burton said. No other injuries were reported.



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