TAMPA — Federal agents shot and killed a man Tuesday night while trying to arrest him at a Carrollwood home.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Service raided the home at 16040 Grass Lake Drive about 8 p.m. in search of Jeremy James Anderson, who was wanted in both Marion and Lee counties on sex crime charges, authorities said.
Gunfire was exchanged inside the house, authorities said. When it ended, Anderson lay dead.
A Tampa police officer, who was part of a task force assisting the U.S. Marshals, was injured, authorities said. The officer, whose name was not released, suffered a second-degree burn to his arm and shoulder when he apparently fell into a fire that was burning in the yard.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting. Both federal and local officials were tight-lipped about the details.
Anderson, 36, had multiple active warrants in both Marion and Lee counties, authorities said. One stemmed from an incident in July in which he was accused of masturbating in front of children in an Ocala apartment. In August, Anderson turned himself in to police to answer to the charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition. But he later skipped a court date and had been sought as a fugitive ever since.
The circumstances of the Lee County case were not clear.
A bevy of Anderson's family members paced the sidewalk Wednesday morning down the street from the modest house where he was killed. They said they had not seen him since August. Late Tuesday night, word of his death had filtered in through family friends.
They piled into two cars at their Ocala home and drove south in search of answers. They were met with a line of yellow police tape and a caravan of law enforcement cars that clogged the residential street.
Snippets of what happened came from neighbors and people who were in the house when the shooting started.
"Apparently there was kids in the house," said Anderson's mother, Miriam Zimmerman. "There was a knock at the door. One of the kids came and asked who it was. They said 'Open the door or we'll have to shoot it.' From there it was a mess."
Two men, shields raised and guns drawn, stormed in, she said. Gunfire sounded. A bullet casing hit one of the children in the face.
A neighbor who lives next door to the house where the shooting happened let Anderson's family into the back yard Wednesday. They counted 14 bullet holes in a ramshackle fence that separates the two properties. Through a gap in the fence's wood planks, they could see a body under a white sheet.
"He's been baking in the Florida sun since last night," said Evan Zimmerman, Anderson's brother. "Unfortunately law enforcement didn't have the decency to call our family and say a single word."
Law enforcement officials described Anderson as having a long criminal record. In 1997, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest in a Pasco County court to charges of attempted murder and robbery.
In that case, Anderson and another man were accused of beating a man nearly to death after they were invited to his home. The victim, Harold McNeill, suffered a broken nose, brain damage and partial paralysis. His wallet, which held $300, was stolen.
In 2010, Anderson was released from prison. Though he was convicted, his family said he never felt like the justice system treated him fairly. When the sex crime allegations surfaced, he ran. He had no faith that he could defend himself in court, they said.
"I think he just felt like he wouldn't get a chance to speak," Evan Zimmerman said. "What happened here was solely because he had a lack of trust in the court system."
Deputy U.S. Marshal James Badway said his agency is prohibited by Department of Justice policy to discuss details of an active investigation. Badway said the U.S. Marshals Service primarily serves arrest warrants, but also assists with sex crime investigations.
At midday Wednesday, a white medical examiner's van rolled up Grass Lake Drive and backed into the home's driveway alongside a brown truck and a black Mustang. The rear doors opened. Out came a gurney.
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