Florida murder suspect killed in Jersey City during shootout with U.S. Marshals

A man wanted in a Central Florida murder was killed on July 8, 2023, by U.S. Marshals in New Jersey, as agents were trying to serve an arrest warrant.

Authorities in Jersey City on Friday confronted 56-year-old Esteban De Jesus, who was wanted for murder and attempted murder in connection with a deadly shooting that occurred in Orlando.

Marshals said they saw the man around 11:10 p.m. After that time, he was shot by marshals and taken to a hospital, where he died, according to the attorney general’s office.

The Attorney General’s Office said, “The allegations set forth in that warrant occurred on Friday, July 7, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. At approximately 11:10 p.m., the Marshals encountered the individual in the area of Jefferson Avenue in Jersey City. Thereafter, the individual was wounded and transported to Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased at approximately 11:44 p.m.”

According to the Attorney General’s preliminary investigation, members of the United States Marshals Service NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force were in Jersey City to assist officers from the Orlando City Police Department with executing an arrest warrant for murder and attempted murder.

According to Orlando police, De Jesus had killed Leonidas Duran, 67, Friday night along the 2000 block of Raper Dairy Road. Investigators said they received a call around 6:43 p.m. saying that someone was being attacked by a person armed with a machete and a gun.

When officers arrived, they said they found Duran with several cuts and a gunshot wound in her chest lying in the grass of an apartment complex. Police said they also found her husband in the doorway of an apartment, also with a gunshot wound.

Duran was pronounced dead at the scene. The husband was taken to the hospital in stable condition, according to police.

Investigators said De Jesus, who is the son of Duran’s next-door neighbor, was quickly identified as the suspect in the attack.

Linda Ramos, a neighbor and witness, said that she saw what happened, prompting her to call the police.

“He took a machete and started stabbing her with it…” Ramos said. “There was a few people outside trying to stop him from chopping her up with a machete.”

When officers arrived, they pulled out their guns and aimed them at the husband before realizing it wasn’t him who had shot Duran, Ramos added.

The Marshals Service’s fugitive task force for New York and New Jersey is comprised of law enforcement officers from local, county, state, and federal agencies but officials didn’t specify the agency or agencies involved in the incident.

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General is now investigating the events leading to Marshals shooting and killing De Jesus. The office has not released any details about what prompted marshals to open fire.

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