A Florida Wildlife Conservatory Officer was shot and killed early Sunday morning in Hendry County. Officials have arrested and charged a suspect in the incident.
What We Know:
- Julian Keen, Jr., a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer has been identified as the victim. He was 30-years-old and has worked for the company for six years. According to local reports, he was off-duty when he was shot and killed trying to stop a hit-and-run driver.
- Three suspects were being questioned and one of the suspects, Eliceo Hernandez, 20, was arrested and charged with negligent homicide and is being held at the Hendry County Jail on a $500,000 bond. There has been no word of additional charges. The other two suspects have been released.
- The incident occurred 26 miles east of Fort Myers, near LaBelle. Deputies say when they arrived, they found the officer dead. The detectives are working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on this case.
- Hendry Sheriff Steve Whidden says, “I’ve known the officer since he was 10 years old. He was a dear friend of mine. We considered him family. He was our brother. Julian was an absolute role model to everyone here. This was a heartbreaker. It hit me personally and it hit our community personally.”
- Keen was described as someone who was “a genuine officer who would literally give his shirt off his back to ANYONE who needed it” by the The Highway Florida Highway Patrol Command Officers Association.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission on the loss of Officer Julian Keen. Julian was shot and killed last night while off-duty trying to stop a hit and run driver. He selflessly died in the service of others.#NeverForget pic.twitter.com/RT39RL2bsb
— Texas Game Warden (@TexasGameWarden) June 14, 2020
Anyone with further information is to contact the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office at (863) 674-0406. Our thoughts and prayers are with Keen’s family.