Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer Found Dead in Cruiser


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3/27/2007 6:37am report
3/27/2007 12pm report
3/27/2007 5pm report

By Grayson Kamm
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Two JSO officers found a third member of their squad dead in his patrol car early Tuesday morning. Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said the officer shot himself, but no one on the force knows why.

Rutherford said the three officers were all dispatched to a disturbance call at the Fieldcrest apartment complex off Southside Boulevard.

Two officers were traveling together in one patrol car, and Officer Robert Dunn was riding alone in his own patrol car, Rutherford said.

The disturbance call was canceled by dispatchers as the officers arrived, but the two officers who had been traveling together decided to walk up to the apartment where the call came from anyway, to knock on the door and look around the area, Rutherford said.

The two officers noticed that Officer Dunn had not followed them up to the apartment, so they went back to check on him, the sheriff explained.

Rutherford said they found Dunn dead in his patrol car, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

JSO said Officer Robert Dunn had been on their force for three years, and was a law enforcement officer in South Dakota before moving to the First Coast.

A chaplain from JSO told Dunn's family of the incident before sunrise Tuesday morning, Rutherford said, adding that the officer leaves behind a wife and two children.

Rutherford described the investigation as "very tough" on his officers, particularly because there's no clear reason why Officer Dunn apparently killed himself.

He was well-liked by the other members of his squad and was not under any sort of JSO investigation nor suspicion, Rutherford said.

Only First Coast News was there as a tow truck carried Dunn's patrol car out of the complex. The car's overhead lights were still on, and the screen on the car's laptop computer was still glowing.

Created: 3/27/2007 6:20:21 AM
Updated: 3/27/2007 7:22:37 PM
Edited by Jonathan Feldmann, Producer

© 2007 First Coast News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.