Cops Say Florida Teacher Was Shot Dead by Estranged Hubby in Front of Kids

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Manatee Academy
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Manatee Academy

A beloved middle school math teacher was gunned down in front of her children after they were abducted at gunpoint by her estranged husband, who forced them into his rental car in southeast Florida, police said.

Police said Jamie Felix, 45, was killed in the parking lot of an airport hotel Friday in West Palm Beach by 60-year-old Ray Felix, a former police lieutenant who also worked in education.

The violent ordeal began around 4 p.m. Friday, when police said Jamie Felix and her sons, aged 17 and 10, were leaving a recreational business in the 9000 block of South U.S. 1 in Port St. Lucie—an area that houses an air and trampoline park.

As Jamie Felix and her kids left the business, police said her estranged husband appeared in the parking lot in a disguise with a gun. He and Jamie Felix were already in divorce proceedings and there was a restraining order against him—issued as part of his pre-trial release for a battery charge—for a previous domestic violence incident involving her.

Police said Ray Felix ordered his estranged wife and kids into his rental car, a white Nissan Altima, as he and Jamie Felix argued about their divorce. He is said to have then ordered her to send an email that “concerned” her colleagues at Manatee Academy before they left in the rental car, but they all returned to the business’ parking lot shortly after.

That’s when police said Ray Felix forced his 17-year-old child to drive his rental car behind him and Jamie Felix as they headed south into Palm Beach County. Not long after, police said the two cars pulled into the parking lot of the Quality Inn Palm Beach International Airport and everyone exited the vehicles.

Moments later, Ray Felix is accused of opening fire on his estranged wife, gunning her down just before 7:30 p.m as their children looked on. An ambulance was sent to the scene, but Jamie Felix was pronounced dead. Her children were found sitting next to their slain mom but were unharmed, police said.

Police said Ray Felix fled in his rental car and drove it back to its agency as he tried to make a run for it, but was ultimately found a quarter-mile from the car rental business. Once police closed in on him, officers said they witnessed Ray Felix shoot himself in the head—a shot that ultimately killed him despite first responders rushing him to a hospital, where doctors attempted emergency surgery.

“No officers fired any shots or anything,” said a West Palm Beach police spokesperson at a news conference. “He appeared intent on one thing, and that’s taking his life.”

The spokesperson added, “You have a family that is going to be scarred—children who’s going to be affected the rest of their lives.”

Court records in St. Lucie County showed that a divorce was ongoing, with a judge’s order prohibiting Ray Felix from contacting Jamie Felix and one of their children. The father was charged with battery in October after a violent episode at their suburban home.

An arrest affidavit for that incident, obtained by The Daily Beast, listed Ray Felix’s occupation as “Dean’s Clerk” at Manatee Academy, where Jamie Felix taught eighth-grade math.

In that affidavit, police said they arrived to the couple’s home last year to find Jamie Felix “visibly upset and crying.” She told officers that her husband had grabbed her wrists and forced her to the ground of their bathroom after she refused to hand him her keys. Just before that, she said he had snatched her phone.

“Jamie wants her phone back and states that Ray is very manipulative and is retired from law enforcement, so he knows how to play the police,” the affidavit said.

Ray Felix.

Ray Felix.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office

Ray Felix had been a police lieutenant in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he worked for the police department alongside Jamie Felix, who was a former crime analyst with the department, News Channel 3 reported. The current K-9 officer in Battle Creek is named “Felix” in Ray Felix’s honor.

The affidavit from the October incident has portions redacted but suggested the fight was witnessed by someone in the home who was later interviewed at Manatee Academy. Ray Felix told officers his wife was being “dramatic” as they argued about finances and that she had thrown herself to the ground, but police said they observed she had “visible marks” on her wrists that were “raised and red.”

Multiple reports from Florida news stations said Ray Felix was fired by Manatee Academy after the alleged battery incident.

Social posts from the school, which serves grades K-8, showed that Jamie Felix was named school teacher of the year multiple times, including this year.

A Facebook account belonging to Jamie Felix had a profile picture of her smiling with her two boys, with each of them were wearing a Michigan Wolverines shirt as they held trophies.

Scores of tributes to Jamie Felix flooded social media over the weekend, including a note written by some of her eighth-grade students.

“Our class has decided never to call Mrs. Felix by that name,” the note begins. “She will live in our hearts as ‘mom’ or ‘school mom.’ She really was the best, no words can describe. Even though she was going through so much, she still stayed to listen to our problems. She pushed us to be the best we can be. Her smile could light up a universe. We’re not sure what intentions one must have to take someone like that out of this world but she didn’t deserve it.”

The noted added that she “made math fun” and that she “brought life into the school day.”

“God knew that we were in need of an angel, and sent her,” the note said. “She has helped us through so much. But sometimes even angels need help too. But we were too late.”

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