Details surface of school bus shooting fugitive

Edgar Robles, 16, found with self-inflicted gunshot wound in Hinesville, Georgia

HINESVILLE, Ga. – A 16-year-old wanted in a school bus shooting on Jacksonville's Westside last week was arrested Thursday night during a traffic stop in Liberty County, Georgia. Authorities said he was treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound, then locked up in a juvenile facility in Georgia.

Edgar Robles was wanted on two counts of attempted murder and one count of firing deadly missiles for the shooting that injured two teenage girls last Thursday. Liberty County is about 30 miles south of Savannah.

Shelley, who asked that her last name not be used, said she knew Robles when he was growing up and said that when he was 10 or 11, he's 16 now, he was a great kid.

Shelley's husband ran a youth baseball team which Robles joined and was how the couple came to know him.

"He was a good kid, really a good kid. He had a good heart. He's very sensitive. He's very caring. Very good with us," Shelley said.

Shelley said that the bond grew so strong between Robles and their family that they took him on a trip to The Baseball Hall of Fame in New York.

"We paid for everything. Even after, when he wasn't playing baseball we would take him to other teams and take him to practice and what not," Shelley said.

But Shelley said it pained the family when they started noticing a change in Robles and had to stop associating with him. 

Shelley said she suspects the behavior changes were due to bad influences in Robles' neighborhood and now, two years later, they were horrified to hear what happened on the Westside.

"My husband and I felt guilty, because we did let him go. I felt like we should have done more. But in reality, he was living two lives. He was one way with us, then going home and doing other things," Shelley said.

Robles' attorney, Robert Davis, said he waived extradition for his client at a probable cause hearing in Liberty County on Friday and requested that he be brought back to Jacksonville. Davis, who hasn't yet spoken with Robles, said he expects that to happen within the week.

Davis said Robles' mother is devastated.

"The mother is just asking for privacy, because she is going through her worst nightmare," Davis said. "She is cooperating with law enforcement. She actually was going door-to-door herself to all the friends, trying to find her son so nothing would happen to him."

The Liberty County Sheriff's Department reported that Robles apparently shot himself in the leg Wednesday night, and that wound had not been treated. 

Georgia deputies said Robles was picked up during a traffic stop near the Glenbrook Mobile Home Park, taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center, then released to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Georgia.

Long said the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had contacted Liberty County a few days ago with information that Robles was in that area. The arrest was made late Thursday night on Dunlevie Road, near the cities of Allenhurst and Walthourville.

"Obviously he knew someone, because he had been here for a couple of days," Liberty County Chief Deputy Jon Long said. "We had a series of leads developed over the past few days, and this one panned out."

UNCUT: Liberty County briefing on Robles' arrest

The Sheriff's Department searched for Robles at two locations but didn't find him, and then got a tip Wednesday that Robles was suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Wednesday night, officers set up surveillance near the mobile home park, and Long said Robles was taken into custody without incident.

The person with Robles in the car during the traffic stop was questioned, but not arrested. It wasn't clear if that person knew Robles was a fugitive.

Residents near the mobile home park were stunned to learn that someone accused of shooting at a school bus was on the run and in Liberty County, a place some said is very quiet.

"It is kind of crazy, because there are kids out here. It's a lot of kids who stay out here with their families," neighbor Quanesha Bean said. "It is really a shock."

News4Jax was told Robles was being held at the Claxton Youth Detention Center. He will likely be transferred to Jacksonville to face charges. How soon that would happen was not clear, but Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives were in Georgia on Friday.

"They have different extradition codes on the warrants," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. "Sometimes it could be state only or Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas and sometimes countrywide. I'm sure this was a countrywide warrant. Wherever he would have been captured in the United States, JSO would have sent people out there to pick him up."

For security reasons, law enforcement couldn't say when Robles would be brought back to Jacksonville. 

Once back in Florida, Robles will be taken to the DJJ to go before a judge. At that point, the State Attorney can decide whether or not Robles will be charged as an adult. Davis said he expects the state to do just that.

The families of the girls who were shot on the bus said Friday that they are glad Robles had been caught and they are looking forward to his day in court. For now, though, they are focusing on helping the girls get better.

Davis said before he plans his client's defense, he wants to find out what happened the day of the shooting.

"I have been told by two separate witnesses that the things that occurred out there at the shooting at the day of the bus stop aren't exactly as have been previously reported," Davis said. "I intend to get a private investigator to interview those witnesses and forward that information to the State Attorney's Office."

5 shots fired into school bus

Investigators believe Robles had planned a fight at the bus stop, and when he showed up and started yelling at teens to get off the bus, someone opened a window and spat on him. Police say that's when Robles pulled a gun and fired shots into the bus, which was bringing 30 students home from three alternative middle and high schools. 

Police said Robles was looking to shoot specific boys who were on the bus. Someone on the bus was providing turn-by-turn updates on the buses' location.

Two girls on the bus, Shakayla Singleton and Ayana Sherman, were injured in the shooting.  Police said they were not the intended targets.

Singleton was released from the hospital one day after the shooting.

Sherman was recovering at Wolfson Children's Hospital. Her grandmother told News4Jax she was shot in the back of the head and is worried she may lose vision in one eye.

"She's the sweetest little granddaughter you'd ever want," Rosa Asberry said. "Ayana doesn't bother anybody. She don't hardly come out of the apartment of her house. If she comes, she'll come to my house. She dances in the church. They dance to the music. That's what she likes to do."

Sherman was sitting in the window seat next to the bus driver's aide. Singleton was sitting behind her.

Police said the bus driver was picking up students from other schools when Robles fired shots at the bus, hitting the two girls in the head.

For hours after the shootings, police, some with rifles in hand, searched for blocks around the scene of the gunfire. 

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