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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Ocala man kills two women in Jacksonville before killing himself

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has identified a 22-year-old Ocala man who shot and killed two women near a railroad crossing in Duval County before taking his own life.

During a press conference on Wednesday, JSO Chief of Investigations Alan Parker stated that an investigation into the double homicide revealed that the shooter was Ty Christopher Head.

Ocala man kills two women in Jacksonville before killing himself
Ty Christopher Head

According to Parker, on August 9, at around 1:30 a.m., Paige Pringle, 28, was traveling southbound in the 1400 block of Hendricks Avenue in Jacksonville when she stopped her SUV at the railroad crossing due to a passing train.

Another woman, identified as 53-year-old Tara Baker, was next to her bike near the train tracks as she also waited for the train to pass.

According to JSO, Head was driving behind Pringle in a gray Volkswagen Passat, and he parked his vehicle near the railroad crossing. For reasons that are unknown, Head proceeded to exit his vehicle, and he fatally shot Pringle and Baker before fleeing the area.

Parker stated during the press conference that JSO detectives immediately launched an investigation into the double homicide. Initially, their only lead was the color, make, and model of the shooter’s vehicle. Multiple 9mm shell casings were also recovered near the railroad tracks.

Utilizing various law enforcement technologies, JSO detectives worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in order to identify Head as a possible suspect.

Detectives learned through the investigation that Head owned a gray Volkswagen Passat, which matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle. Additionally, detectives learned that Head had shot and killed himself outside of Nashville, Tennessee, on August 10, just one day after the double homicide had occurred.

JSO coordinated with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee, and detectives confirmed that Head had used a 9mm handgun to commit suicide outside of his Volkswagen Passat.

Chief Parker stated that firearms forensics determined that the 9mm shell casings recovered from the scene of the double homicide matched the shell casings that were recovered near Head’s body. In addition, ATF forensics further confirmed that the 9mm handgun Head used to commit suicide was the same weapon that took the life of Pringle and Baker.

Head did not have a criminal record, but he did have a history of substance abuse and was living in a “sober house for addition” prior to the fatal shootings, according to JSO.

“While we cannot provide the deceased victims’ family members with justice through the court system, it is our solemn hope that by providing them with some factual answers concerning these murders, we can impart to them some sense of peace,” said Parker.