ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A man was killed in an exchange of gunfire with deputies on Wednesday after sparking a pursuit in St. Johns County, authorities said.
Late Wednesday afternoon, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, a vehicle that had fled from law enforcement and was suspected in a Flagler County hit-and-run was spotted in the area of A1A South and State Road 206 in Crescent Beach. The Sheriff’s Office Office said the man behind the wheel, who was “driving aggressively," led deputies west onto State Road 207, where he was seen driving into oncoming traffic on several occasions, crashing through a fence on private property and ramming a Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle.
The Sheriff’s Office said the pursuit came to an end at S.R. 207 and Armstrong Road in the Hastings area, where the vehicle went off the road and crashed into an abandoned school bus on private property.
The driver then got out, pulled out a handgun and began to fire at deputies, who exchanged gunfire with the man, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office said the man -- who was identified as Joshua Christopher Noles, 37, of Volusia County -- died at the scene. The medical examiner’s office will be conducting an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.
Noles has been in and out of prison four times for robbery, drug possession and battery convictions, according to Florida Department of Corrections records. He’s also on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement registered sex offender site, as he was convicted last year of possession of child porn.
The Sheriff’s Office identified the three deputies involved in Wednesday’s shooting as Corporal Quentin Beckton, Corporal Andrew Huskey and Deputy Tyler Quinney. They were not injured. The Sheriff’s Office said they were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure.