Authorities: Robbery suspect who shot at Jacksonville officer found hiding in dumpster

A robbery suspect and a JSO officer traded gunfire on the Westside this afternoon-- and a third person ended up in the hospital in critical condition. News4Jax reporter Erik Avanier has been on the scene all evening.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man suspected in two business robberies Monday was found hiding in a dumpster following an exchange of gunfire with a police officer, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters, with the Sheriff’s Office, said a robbery was first reported Monday afternoon at a check cashing business on Edgewood Avenue. He said that 10 minutes later, a second robbery was reported at the Monterey Motel on New Kings Road.

Waters said a witness identified a red SUV -- a Toyota RAV4 -- that was spotted leaving the scene, and that an officer saw the suspect vehicle on Line Street, where he pulled over the SUV. Waters said the officer gave “loud, verbal commands for the suspect to exit the vehicle.”

“A passenger got outside of the vehicle with his hands up,” Waters said. “As soon as he turned his attention back to the suspect, the suspect fired several shots.”

According to Waters, the officer then fired several times from his weapon and the driver of the SUV fled the scene in the vehicle. The suspect, Waters said, was later caught hiding in a dumpster on Pickettville Road.

“The passenger was injured and transported to a local hospital in critical, but stable condition,” Waters said. The injuries the passenger sustained were unclear.

The officer involved in the incident was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. News4Jax is working to verify the spelling of his name.

JSO had tweeted that the suspect was transported to a hospital for medical treatment, but Waters told News4Jax the suspect “has no injuries.” He also said no officers were struck by gunfire, but that the officer involved had “minor scrapes.”

The State Attorney’s Office is investigating the incident.

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