Person of interest in West Melbourne death investigation shoots, kills self

Emmanuel Joe Ayala endured an hourslong standoff with police on Wednesday

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office JSO generic police lights (WJXT)

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. – A person of interest in a West Melbourne death investigation allegedly shot and killed himself after engaging in a standoff with police Wednesday, investigators said.

According to the West Melbourne Police Department, Emmanuel Joe Ayala was currently under investigation regarding the death of Antonia Lee Crum.

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The initial incident occurred at the America’s Best Value Inn on 4431 W. New Haven Ave. on Nov. 18, when Ayala called officers to report Crum’s death.

He initially cooperated with authorities through the investigation, but then stopped, officers added.

Officials located Ayala and secured a search warrant for his residence in Palm Bay on Wednesday.

After arming himself with a handgun and barricading himself in the home through several hours of negotiations, Ayala committed suicide with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

The investigation is going. No other information is available at this time.


About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.