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Police: Larry Thompson Suspect in the Death of Michelle McCoy Found Dead by Apparent Suicide

11:26 PM, Feb 10, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The suspect in the kidnapping of a 20-year-old Jacksonville woman holed up in an Eighth Street home surrounded by police is now dead.

Larry Thompson was found dead on floor of a house on Eighth Street near Interstate 95 after police sent in machinery with cameras, saw a figure lying in the home and entered the home.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director of Investigations Dwain Senterfitt said Thompson had been shot to death in an apparent suicide.

For about seven hours, the JSO SWAT team used a bobcat machine, tear gas and a PA system to urge Thompson to give up or call police.

Senterfitt said that after a long period with no contact with Thompson, police could see some movement in the home through the windows.

Thompson repeatedly told police he was coming out and toward the end of the standoff came to the door a few times and started emerge, said Senterfitt. But ultimately he stayed inside. A few times it appeared sharpshooters had a clear angle, but were unable to get a good shot, he said.

Just before Senterfitt announced Thompson's death, police appeared to be moving in and out of the home in a more relaxed and casual fashion. A bobcat with a camera used to break the home's windows was pulled from the scene.

The announcement was meant by cheers and gasps from family who had waited on the scene for hours for a resolution.

Members of McCoy's family and friends had gathered to pray near the scene and planned a vigil tonight before the area became a standoff scene. 

McCoy's cousin, India cried afterwards saying she was upset, and that suicide was "too easy" for Thompson. McCoy's sister was very happy, she said, with the way the situation was resolved and called Thompson "a coward."

Earlier, police had used a bobcat machine to punch holes in the roof of a house. A can of teargas also has been thrown in through a hole in the attic.

A phone was sent into the home to help communication, but Thompson did not use it to call police, said Senterfitt. "We're using whatever we need to use."

He said police believed Thompson was alone the whole time, but did not know if he had "a weapon in there...."

Police did not fire shots into the home, only the tear gas which results in an irritated throat, nose and mouth.

According to JSO public information officer Mike McCall, officials responded to a tip that led police to the scene. Earlier this afternoon, officials converged on Eighth Street just west of Interstate 95; the area remains closed.

McCoy was last seen Jan. 10, when she got into a van and disappeared. Days later, a witness told police he saw what appeared to be an abduction not far from McCoy's home. After more than a week, detectives connected the two incidents and began a search for McCoy.

Last Thursday, a lead brought detectives to a vacant lot in northwest Jacksonville, where they found remains late in the evening. During the weekend, the remains were identified as McCoy's.

Last week, police identified Thompson, a former boyfriend of the 20-year-old's, as a suspect.

When asked tonight if Thompson was also connected with McCoy's death, Senterfitt said, "we believe he was involved in that."

Traffic exiting onto Eighth Street must go east. Members of the Duval County school police force are also on the scene. No schools were placed on lockdown, though police were at the Mt. Herman Exceptional Student Center assisting parents picking up their children.

First Coast News

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