Elect Dan Abel for St Johns County Commission District 4

Autopsy complete, deputy who shot Stevens identified

December 12, 2013 | By More

400-THOMAS-CAMERON-COWARDMedia Relations Officer, Kevin Kelshaw, informed Historic City News in St Augustine today that a nine-year veteran of the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office is the deputy who fired the shot yesterday afternoon that killed 64-year-old Rodney Wayne Stevens inside his residence at 385 Katnack Road, off White Castle Road.

This is the second shooting for 29-year-old Thomas Cameron Coward in the line of duty.

Coward’s first police-involved shooting was at about 10:30 p.m. on the night of Saturday, April 14, 2012; when he was one of four St Johns County Sheriff’s deputies who shot 46-year-old Andrea M. Sheldon; a hospice nurse who cared for Sheriff Shoar’s father, before his death in December, 2011. Shoar called the hospice nurse a “wonderful caregiver” who became very close to his family. Sheldon lived with her husband, Rick Sheldon, a Jacksonville firefighter and US Army veteran, in a mobile home in St Johns County; on a heavily wooded lot off of CR-214 west of St Augustine.

400-Rodney-Wayne-StevensToday, District 23 Chief Medical Examiner, Dr Predrag Bulic, performed an autopsy and determined that the cause of death of 64-year-old Rodney Wayne Stevens is “a single gunshot to the head”.

Kelshaw reported that the Sheriff’s Office investigation into Stevens’ death is continuing. Detectives did locate a loaded shotgun on the bed in the room where Stevens encountered the deputy. In addition to the Medical Examiner, a homicide investigator from the office of State Attorney R. J. Larizza, is participating in the investigation.

Coward has been employed by the Sheriff’s Office since July 2004 and he earns $44,065.00 each year plus benefits. He has been placed on paid Administrative Leave, which is “standard procedure” in officer involved shootings.

Last year, Coward made an unsuccessful election bid for Baker County Sheriff in a four-candidate race that included incumbent sheriff, Joey Dobson. Coward rents a house in St Johns County, and owns property in Baker County.

Category: HistoricCity 9-1-1

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