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Teacher, estranged husband dead in suspected murder-suicide, West Palm Beach police say

Woman taught math at Manatee K-8 Academy in Port St. Lucie
West Palm Beach police officers surround a car where a woman was found suffering from a gunshot wound. March 29, 2024.jpg
Posted at 11:29 AM, Mar 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-30 18:31:05-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Port St. Lucie woman was fatally shot in the parking lot of a motel and her estranged husband later killed himself outside a rental car facility Friday night in what a West Palm Beach police spokesman described as a murder-suicide.

The woman was identified as Jamie Felix, 45, a teacher at Manatee Academy K-8 School, and the man was identified as Ray Felix, 60, also from Port St. Lucie, according to the Port St. Lucie Police Department, which worked with West Palm Beach police on the investigation. The St. Lucie School District lists her as an eighth-grade algebra teacher.

Jamie Felix (third from left) was an algebra teacher at Manatee Academy.
Jamie Felix (third from left) was an algebra teacher at Manatee Academy.

Earlier in the day, Port St. Lucie police were investigating a suspicious email from her that was later found to be coerced by her estranged husband, according to a news release from the agency.

West Palm Beach spokesman Mike Jachles said his department received a call about a shooting at about 7:30 p.m. in the back parking lot of the Quality Inn at 1505 Belvedere Road, west of Interstate 95.

They found a woman with an apparent gunshot wound, Jachles said. Officers attempted CPR but she was declared dead by paramedics.

The Quality on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach is where a woman was shot. March 30, 2024.png
The Quality on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach is where a woman was shot.

A man had entered a Nissan with two boys, 10 and 17, behind the other vehicle, a Chevy SUV, Jachles said. The boys were the St. Lucie County couple's children.

The man took off in the vehicle with the boys staying with the woman.

About a quarter mile away, officers found the suspect returning the vehicle on the property of a Hertz rental facility at 3175 Belvedere Road.

When officers approached him, he shot himself, although there was no exchange of gunfire, Jachles said.

He was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center for surgery and died before 10:30 p.m., Jachles said.

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The boys gave statements at the police department.

Witnesses told WPTV reporter Briana Nespral that the motel's parking lot was blocked off for several hours.

"I was a little bit concerned about what was going on since I'm staying here," Norberto Contreras said Saturday morning. "What were they going through? What was happening? What would drive somebody to do something like that? It's awful."

Shortly before 6:30 p.m. Friday, Port St. Lucie police were notified by co-workers of Jamie Felix that they received a suspicious email from her. Because she was going through a divorce from her estranged husband, the email caused them concern.

"Due to the circumstances surrounding the email and lack of further contact from Jamie Felix," major crimes detectives took over the investigation, Police Chief Richard Del Toro said in the news release.

In November, a judge ordered an injunction for protection against domestic violence with minor children.

As they were walking to their vehicle in the parking lot around 4 p.m., an armed Ray Felix approached them in disguise, police said.

He then made them all get into his rental vehicle and once in the vehicle, he confronted Jamie Felix regarding their divorce.

Ray Felix made Jamie Felix send the suspicious email to her co-workers, police said.

They all returned to the business and retrieved Jamie Felix's vehicle.

Ray Felix had one of the children drive Jamie Felix's vehicle from the parking lot and follow him in his rental vehicle while he held the woman at gunpoint.

Port St. Lucie police detectives tracked Jamie Felix's vehicle to the 1500 block of Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach.

St. Lucie Public Schools released the following statement:

"St. Lucie Public Schools is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jamie Felix, a teacher from Manatee K8. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time. We will work together to support our students and staff members [who] have been impacted by her loss, which will include on-site grief counseling services for as long as needed. Jamie brought joy, passion and dedication to her students and the staff at Manatee, and she will be greatly missed."