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Jacksonville police ID suspect in 2 car thefts, 2 business robberies & police chase

Dontravious Adair, 21, is charged with attempted murder of a police officer, among other offenses

Jacksonville police ID suspect in 2 car thefts, 2 business robberies & police chase
Jacksonville police ID suspect in 2 car thefts, 2 business robberies & police chase

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man faces a list of charges after authorities say he stole two cars, held up a convenience store and a credit union at gunpoint, and then led police on a wild chase in one of the stolen vehicles last week.

That stolen car wove in and out of oncoming traffic along 103rd Street as the driver opened fire at officers in pursuit until the chase came to an end with a head-on crash, according to police.

Dontravious Adair, 21, was arrested on felony charges of attempted murder of a police officer, armed robbery, shooting deadly missiles, fleeing or attempting to elude police, motor vehicle theft, and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving.

RELATED: Fleeing bank robber fires at officers, collides with truck, police say

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Director of Investigations Mike Bruno said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the “crime spree” began around noon March 10 when Adair stole a black Mercedes-Benz from a dealership on Blanding Boulevard. Bruno said Adair drove that vehicle about 2 miles before crashing into a wooded area. Adair then went to another dealership on Blanding Boulevard and stole a white Lexus, Bruno said.

Around 2:30 p.m. that day, according to Bruno, Adair entered a convenience store on Wheat Road with customers inside, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money.

After getting money from the store, Bruno said, Adair walked into the VyStar Credit Union on 103rd Street near Ricker Road shortly before 4:30 p.m, pointed a rifle at several people, including the security guard, took the security guard’s gun, herded customers into a corner, and got cash. Bruno described it as a “takeover-style bank robbery,” which was captured on surveillance video. He said Adair was in the bank for about seven minutes.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released surveillance footage from inside the credit union. (Provided by Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

Officers answering the call about that robbery spotted Adair leaving the business armed with two guns, according to a copy of Adair’s arrest report. He then took off west on 103rd Street in the stolen white Lexus, Bruno said.

With police in pursuit, the stolen car veered into oncoming traffic multiple times, “placing countless innocent civilians pedestrians and motorists in extreme jeopardy,” according to the report, which said the driver pointed a rifle out of the driver’s side window and opened fire at a patrol car. Bruno said the gunshots can be heard on police body camera footage.

A short time later, the car collided with a blue pickup truck head-on, injuring the driver and a young child, both of whom were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Bruno said an officer, who was also injured in the crash, then made a split-second decision to pin the getaway vehicle.

“He sees what is occurring. He realizes that it’s nearly 5 p.m. There’s a lot of traffic on the roadways. There’s a lot of people out and about in the community. He’s got a lot of concerns,” Bruno said. “So our officer makes a split-second decision to ram his police car into the suspect’s vehicle to keep him contained inside of that vehicle.”

The officer’s actions will be reviewed internally, which is standard operating procedure in such incidents.

Duval County jail records show Adair remains in custody in lieu of $865,000 bond. According to court records, he has been appointed a public defender and has an arraignment set for April 1.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released photos of a firearm, as well as cash that police say was from the robberies. (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

About the Authors:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.