A 30-year-old Jacksonville man was arrested Monday following a high-speed chase that started with a report of shots fired and ended with a crash on Interstate 95 near Golfair Boulevard that backed up traffic for hours.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report released on Tuesday, an officer was in their patrol vehicle at a gas station on Harts Road when they heard six to eight gunshots nearby. The officer said they went to check it out and found a group of people hanging out at the River City Inn.
The group told the officer that someone driving a white Dodge truck shot at them. Seconds later, JSO said, the driver of the truck, later identified as Jerson Edmond, abruptly pulled out from between the parking lot behind a nearby gas station and peeled out onto Harts Road. People in the group then pointed and yelled, “That’s it!” JSO said.
The officer followed Edmond on Dunn Avenue and the officer said during the chase, Edmond ran red lights and dangerously passed cars on the road while he reached speeds of up to 90 mph.
When the truck entered I-95, an officer hit the back of the truck, which is known as a PIT maneuver, and caused the truck to spin out and crash into a concrete barrier.
Edmond then looked like he was about to jump out of the truck so a JSO officer used their vehicle to block the door, according to the report.
More than a dozen officers arrived on the scene and took up a perimeter around the truck because Edmond refused to get out, JSO said, and some officers drew their guns. After a brief standoff, Edmond got out of the passenger side of the truck and was safely taken into custody.
Both directions of I-95 were shut down at Golfair Boulevard during the incident and the road was reopened hours later. The incident caused traffic to back up for miles in both directions.
News4JAX spoke to several witnesses and one man on his way back from the airport described what he saw in his rearview mirror before the crash.
“They’re moving all around the roads. I’m trying to figure out which way to get out of their pathway up on this white truck, kind of swerving in and back and forth from lane to lane, but the police behind him. So then I started thinking, ‘Oh, man, I gotta get out of the way of all this. I don’t know what’s gonna happen,’” he said.
Edmond was charged with discharging a firearm near people, fleeing and eluding police and reckless driving.