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Mondex’s Kenneth Morrow Is Shot and Killed in a Suicidal Confrontation With Volusia Cops

| January 3, 2013

The area of Highbridge Road in Ormond Beach where Kenneth Morrow's shooting took place Wednesday.

The area of Highbridge Road in Ormond Beach where Kenneth Morrow’s shooting took place Wednesday.

Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies attempting to negotiate with a suicidal man armed with a handgun opened fire and killed 52-year-old Kenneth Morrow of Daytona North Wednesday evening in Ormond Beach after Morrow “advanced” on deputies while brandishing a gun, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office had requested Volusia County’s assistance at about 4 p.m. Wednesday when Morrow sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend threatening suicide. His cell phone was tracked by authorities to Highbridge Road near Ormond Beach, just west of the Halifax River.

Just after 4 p.m., a deputy found Morrow sitting between the edge of the roadway and the marsh, in the area of 259 Highbridge, near his parked motorcycle. Morrow, according to a police report, “took a black in color revolver and placed it under his chin yelling for Deputy Currie to ‘Back off or I will do it!’ Deputy Currie retreated to his patrol car and moved back to a safe distance.” He then notified a supervising sergeant while maintaining visual contact with Morrow. A perimeter was established around the area.

Morrow continued to text suicidal messages, including demands for police to leave him alone. He also pointed the gun at himself at times, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies attempted to talk to him by calling his cell phone and sending him text messages. He initially ignored them but then responded with more suicidal statements. At one point Morrow fired his gun, but it is unknown what he may have been shooting at. Then at about 6:15 p.m., Morrow, according to a sheriff’s release, “advanced on deputies in an aggressive manner while brandishing his weapon and refusing to heed their warnings to stop. Deputies protected themselves by firing at him. The man was struck and he fell to the ground. Once deputies determined that it was safe, paramedics approached the man and pronounced him dead at 6:25.”

The two deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, as is normal practice whenever police are involved in a fatal shooting, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been called in to investigate. The FDLE’s involvement is also normal practice, to avoid conflicts of interest.

The two deputies involved in the shooting were 38-year-old Christopher Jones and 34-year-old Joel Hernandez. Jones has been with the Sheriff’s Office since May 2002 and Hernandez has been with the Sheriff’s Office since February 2003.

Morrow was a resident of Guava Lane in the Mondex, where he lived in a small mobile home.

Three weeks ago, Flagler County deputies shot and killed Troy Gordon, 32, during a confrontation in Gordon’s garage, where Gordon had allegedly brandished a machete and threatened the life of a deputy with it. Gordon had been seen earlier that afternoon walking along his street, with the machete in one hand and a Bible in the other, and at times praying in the street.

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19 Responses for “Mondex’s Kenneth Morrow Is Shot and Killed in a Suicidal Confrontation With Volusia Cops”

  1. donna says:

    Ken was a wonderful man!!!!!! I had the pleasure to be a close friend and work associate. He will be forever missed.

  2. Constance Morrow-Brown says:

    I loved my brother-in-law he was a good man with many hurtful demons that did not help with the passing of his youngest brother last year (whom he discovered deceased ). I thank the officers for all they were able to do and I praise god that none of the officers were hurt. Officer Jones & Hernandez you have mine and my daughters prayers I am sure this is just as upsetting to you as it is to us.

  3. glide10 says:

    What does this shooting have to do with the other one? Fortunately no one else was hurt and I’m sure the Deputies did everything they could to prevent this from happening. Why do people feel the need to put others through such situations?

  4. Charlotte Reed says:

    My heart is so sadden by this. I just wish they would have got someone to talk to him that could have helped him He did not have to die … I pray for all involved.

  5. Kyle says:

    Nothing quenches the thirst for violence like more violence……Yay America!

  6. BeachLvr84 says:

    It’s important to remember that sometimes people who are suicidal know that law enforcement officers will fire if they are threatened. This poor guy may have been unable to go through with it himself and then turned toward officers knowing they would shoot. Sad all around. I can’t imagine being an officer having to deal with things like this. May he finally rest in peace.

  7. Pat says:

    Suicide by cop……It seems that this is happening every other day now. When are the police going to learn to leave these people alone until they calm down. Or maybe shoot them with a tranquilizer dart. Seems everyone is so QUICK to KILL these days.

    • FB Insider says:

      It’s not a matter of just “leave them alone”. If they did that and they did kill themselves, there would be public outcry with “where were the police!?”. The fact of the matter, no matter how SAD it is, is that this man CHOSE to charge Deputies with a firearm. They were not engaging him. He determined the outcome. Sad and unfortunate but it is what it is.

  8. JoJo says:

    These types of confrontations are very dangerous. Why? Because they are unpredictable.

    But, these types of encounters go on in this country on almost a daily basis. Here is another encounter that ended in tragedy:

  9. Ben Dover says:

    I think all police departments need have a special task force for these situations ,they keep sending the death squads, instead of people with the skills and equipment to handle distraught people. Familt members call the police for help , not to execute their loved ones , I said this in the other local killing of a young man thats been taking care of his grandmother, rubber bullets will bring a man down , tranquilizer darts , or someone skilled with talking distraught people out of hurting them selves. When a person texts family and friends that they are going to hurt themselves its a cry for help, they spend big bucks on swat teams, why not spend some money on trained people to help and not kill people who are begging for help

    • Anonymous says:

      There is (supposed to be) a special task force in Flagler County, sponsored by the Public Safety Committee – anyone can see all the members of the committee. Flagler County received a nice grant to fund the intervention program, and SMA Behavioral received the pass-through funding to staff the program and train the LEO’s for situations just such as this. It would be interesting to know where this money has gone and what it has been used to accomplish.

    • Anonymous says:

      A special task force.. There is. It’s called the Crisis Negotiator as well as SWAT. Takes a little time to assemble and respond and they rely on constant info from the first officers on scene which are from patrol. A suicidal person on the side of road with gun is very dangerous and unpredictable. Patrol officers contain the area until a negotiator and SWAT can respond so long as things don’t go south before then as it seems it did in this case even though the officer retreated when asked. The police certainly want to help but they don’t want to be injured or killed trying. What would we all be saying here if one of those cops were killed? If I were in their shoes I believe I would not let a person bent on taking their own life take me along with them either.

      • PJ says:

        Hmmm, police called at 4pm, shot and killed at almost 6:30pm. Seems like plenty of time to
        call Crisis Negotiators and/or SWAT and get someone there to help this man. I knew him and
        agree that this was a cry for help. A seriously suicidal person will not wait 2 1/2 hours if he is
        not crying out for someone to help him. He will simply do it himself. Suicide by cop? I don’t
        think so.

  10. NortonSmitty says:

    Anybody tell me why it is ironclad police policy not to shoot a guy like this in the leg?

    • Ray Thorne says:

      Because they can still shoot back. Perhaps they should try shooting the gun out of a persons hand as well while they are pointing it at them?

  11. Mike says:

    Pat, police will not fire a taser at an armed man. The charge from the taser causes the body to tense up and the muscles to flex. In most cases, if someone holding a gun is tased, the gun will be fired uncontrollably. I do agree that they should come up with other life threatening options or shoot a little less fatally.

  12. Geezer says:

    My sympathies to Kenneth’s friends and family.
    Depression is a disease that many people don’t understand.

    It isn’t weakness, it’s chemical. Human beings are hormones and electrical impulses working together
    (put very simply), and when there’s an imbalance, depressive people can become distraught, inconsolable
    and behave in shocking ways.

    This encounter with the deputies was Kenneth’s “last stand” where he thought that he was in control.
    (Like Troy Gordon) When you bring the police into your life this way, you usually end up shot.

    This cry for help took a fatal turn. This story is indeed, most depressing.

  13. observant says:

    Ever heard the saying “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight “? The same is true of rubber bullets. Police have the right to meet force with force to ensure they survive these encounters. Furthermore, the police are not psychologists. They do the best they can but cannot just walk away from these situations and let them calm down. This man wanted attention. He wanted help. If he was ignored by police it is likely that he would have gone to the next level to get their attention. He could have harmed or taken hostage an innocent person. The police can’t walk away and hope he comes to his senses. And to answer the question about shooting to wound, police officers shoot as a means to eliminate a threat. If they wound the guy and he falls down now they just have an injured, more angry, albeit less mobile suicidal man with a gun. It also eliminates any chance they may have had to earn his trust and talk him out of his actions.

  14. Married to this man says:

    After being married to this man for 14 years then divorced for about 8, i can tell you it was his decision not the police.
    Your right about depression and the last minute snap decision knowing full well the police would shoot him, because he could never do it himself.
    As with his sister in law, I feel for the officers and their families.
    I also want to let all Ken’s family I’m thinking of you and now
    maybe Ken can finally be at peace

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