LAKE CITY, Fla. – A suspect in a violent home invasion who evaded authorities in Columbia County is now in custody at the county jail after he was captured in Steubenville, Ohio, deputies said.
Eddie Murphy, 26, of Lake City, was captured in Ohio two weeks ago and then extradited back to Florida on Wednesday, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said Murphy is a suspect in the Dec. 21, 2018, shooting of two people during a robbery at a home on Zeigler Terrace in Lake City.
Investigators told News4Jax that Murphy gained entry into the home through the front door, which was left unlocked. According to authorities, there were four people in the house, two in the living room and two in a bedroom.
“One of the victims was in the bedroom playing a video game when the other victim was being threatened. They got into a struggle over the gun. That’s when one of the victims was shot and the other was shot almost execution-style,” said Sgt. Murray Smith, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.
According to the arrest warrant, one victim, identified by his mother as 16-year-old Colt Causey, was shot in the forehead and the other victim, the teen's uncle, was shot in the leg. Both survived.
The teen's mother, Cherelle Causey, told News4Jax her son was flown to the hospital with a graze to his head, a bullet near his spine, another in his lower back and a bullet in his hip.
“My son had blood everywhere," she said. "I’m, like, 'Oh, my God. Please get a handle on what just happened.'"
She said Thursday that her son has three bullets that are still lodged in his body and will stay there to prevent further injury.
The warrant states that witnesses in the house, including one of the victims, identified Murphy as the shooter, even though the shooter was wearing a mask.
“They recognized the voice. The parts they could see, they were able to recognize who it was," Smith said.
Smith told News4Jax that Murphy was there to steal money after learning someone in the house had recently received a tax return for an unknown amount of money. Smith said Murphy was also suspected of burglarizing the home prior to the alleged home invasion.
“Weeks earlier, they thought he may have stolen a TV. They were aware of who he was. They spoke to him and met him before,” Smith said.
Days after the shooting, the Sheriff’s Office publicly announced it was looking for Murphy, who was described as being armed and dangerous. Deputies also said he had multiple addresses listed in Columbia and Suwannee counties and may have been traveling in a silver 2007 Hyundai Sonata. At one point, deputies in Pasco County, along with federal marshals, thought they had Murphy cornered in Dade City.
“When they checked on it, he had already left,” Smith said.
Seven months later, deputies said, Murphy was captured in a Steubenville, Ohio, public park -- about 900 miles away from Lake City -- after hours.
“When someone is on the run, we actually stop to take a breath. And that’s apparently what happened. He was in Ohio and felt pretty comfortable, enough to be riding an ATV in a park at night. A very observant officer stopped him,” Smith said.
When the officer ran his name, it came back with an arrest warrant out of Columbia County.
Murphy now faces charges that include:
- Attempted murder
- Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
- Home invasion
Murphy's bond was set at $530,000.
“I’m glad that justice is about to be served," the teenage victim's mother said.
Investigators told News4Jax they had desperately wanted to get Murphy off the streets.
“He had already shown he was going to use violence. So the longer he stayed at large, the more innocent victims could be affected,” Smith said. “This is a very dangerous man who has been taken off the street."