Wildlife Conservation Awareness –
Michael Braun, Fort Myers News-Press
Published 3:30 p.m. ET June 15, 2020 | Updated 11:08 a.m. ET June 16, 2020
FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Florida man was charged in the death of state wildlife conservation officer Julian Keen Jr., who was found shot Sunday morning.
Eliceo Hernandez, 20, was arrested and charged Monday with negligent homicide.
Investigators determined through interviews that Keen and another man had witnessed a reckless driver. Keen was following the driver and after Keen and Hernandez stopped, the off-duty wildlife officer confronted Hernandez and was shot.
The shooting happened in the morning hours Sunday in Labelle, Florida.
When deputies arrived on scene they found Keen, 30, who was an officer for the wildlife conservation since 2016 and was native to the Labelle area.
“Our hearts are aching today. He was a remarkable man because of the depths of his commitment to all around him,” said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden.
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, which is handling the investigation along with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said three suspects were taken into custody.
Hernandez remained in Hendry County Jail on $500,000 bond Monday afternoon.
“We will do everything we can to bring about justice to those guilty in his shooting death,” Whidden said. “We all knew Officer Keen, and he wasn’t only our brother but a role model for the community. He will be missed.”
A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the shooting was still under investigation.
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