I-75 Shut Down After Trooper Involved In Shooting

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Update 7/27/2015 at 7:15 p.m.: The suspect has been identified as Earl Jackson, according to a news release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to the release, A Florida Highway Patrol trooper had stopped to help a stranded motorist when Jackson fired several rounds from a handgun while heading into the woods by mile marker 378 on Interstate 75 southbound.

Northbound and southbound traffic was stopped. Deputies, who were holding the perimeter and preparing to go into the woods, heard random gunfire until Jackson was located.

Due to the proximity of the gunfire to the interstate, the highway remained closed in both directions.

After being located and confronted, Jackson made several statements about an association with ISIS that were overheard by ASO deputies, according to Art Forgey, public information officer for ASO.

According to the release, the FBI is investigating the matter and no ISIS connection has been confirmed.

Gunfire was exchanged between Jackson and Alachua County deputies during the confrontation.

Jackson was then held by a rook, an attachment to an armored vehicle that allows operators to grab and hold down a person, according to Forgey, allowing  law enforcement to approach Jackson and investigate him for possible explosive devices.

It was during that check that Jackson was found dead, according the release. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. No explosives were found on him.

Jackson’s vehicle, which was parked in the emergency lane of the interstate, was then investigated. Due to the ISIS comments, K-9 units were brought in to detect explosives, according to the release.

The dogs identified a locked box in the trunk of the vehicle containing a handgun, according to Forgey. Other evidence found in the car is being sent to the FBI.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are still investigating the incident.

Update 3:24 p.m.: The suspect has been found dead after a confrontation between him and the law enforcement divisions on scene. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating the matter. Northbound traffic remains diverted while the FDLE investigation remains on scene.

Update 2:44 p.m.:

Update 1:17 p.m.: The Sheriff’s office has said they have located the shooter.

Original story:

North and southbound lanes of I-75 have been shut down for most of Saturday morning after a Florida Highway patrol trooper was shot at during a traffic stop.

The Alachua Sheriff’s Office is now conducting a search for the armed suspect. The trooper was not injured in the incident.

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