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Florida fugitive fatally shot near Antioch shot himself in head, Lake County Coroner's Office says

Lake and McHenry county sheriff's deputies involved in shooting

Gerald R. Boyes
Gerald R. Boyes

ANTIOCH – The Florida fugitive fatally shot outside an Antioch-area tavern last weekend shot himself in the head during an incident involving four McHenry and Lake County Sheriff's deputies, authorities said Friday.

However, Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Orlando Portillo said autopsy results were inconclusive in determining if it was the self-inflicted wound that killed 53-year-old Gerald R. Boyes. An autopsy revealed Boyes also was shot in the arms and torso, Portillo said.

Boyes was shot by deputies trying to arrest him at 12:15 a.m. Saturday when he brandished a handgun in the stolen 2015 Ford Flex he was in, said Lake County Major Crime Task Force Assistance Cmdr. Thomas Nugent. Boyes also was wanted on a parole violation and was a person of interest in a double homicide, authorities said.

Interviews with the deputies this week revealed all four fired their guns, Nugent said. He added because the exchange lasted only one to three seconds, he does not expect anyone at the scene to be able to determine if Boyes shot himself before or after deputies started shooting.

“None of the officers were aware he fired his weapon,” Nugent said.

Nugent would not say how many times each deputy fired, or what kind of gun Boyes had.

Boyes, who authorities said previously lived in the Lake County area, was a person of interest in the April 11 murder of his father, Gerald Boyes Sr., 73, and his father's girlfriend, Billie Potter, 67, in Paducah, Kentucky. Police have since identified Boyes as the suspect, saying he beat the couple to death with a hammer.

McCracken County, Kentucky, Sheriff Jon Hayden said among the many pieces of evidence leading police to suspect Boyes in the murder was a pair of pants with blood and mud stains found in the back of the stolen vehicle.

He said Boyes Sr. was killed in the back yard on a rainy night.

"It was obvious there was a fierce struggle or fight," Hayden said, adding police are continuing to process evidence.

Authorities said Boyes had a strained relationship with his father regarding the estate of his brother, who was killed while a riding a motorcycle last year.

The McHenry County Sheriff's deputies are nine- and 23-year veterans of the department, while the Lake County Sheriff's deputies have been with the department for 10 and 11 years, police spokespeople said.

None of the deputies were injured. They have all been placed an paid administrative leave.

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