Georgia man accused of killing 3, kidnapping toddler surrenders after Florida standoff
A Georgia man suspected of kidnapping a 2-year-old after killing the child’s grandparents and aunt was in custody in Florida on Wednesday evening after a nearly six-hour standoff with law enforcement, authorities said.
Caesar Zamien Lamar Crockett Jr., 29, who is accused of fatally shooting three people in Georgia on Tuesday, barricaded himself in a car on an interstate ramp after leading police on a pursuit that began about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday when Tampa officers who were looking for his car began following him.
The pursuit reached speeds of 120 mph, officials said, and Crockett released the child just before 2 p.m. but remained in a standoff with state troopers and police.
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The child was taken to a hospital and is being cared for, and is doing fine, the police chief said.
Crockett surrendered to law enforcement at 7:40 p.m. A gun was allegedly found inside his car.
“They just kept talking to him,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said of police negotiators. “I don’t know if he just got tired or what, but eventually he surrendered and we were able to take him into custody with no problems whatsoever.”
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office said around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, deputies arrived at a home in Macon, Georgia, 80 miles southeast of Atlanta, where they found three people shot to death.
Jamila French, the mother of Crockett’s child, was injured in the incident, NBC Atlanta affiliate WXIA reported. Her mother, step-father and sister were killed, the sheriff’s office said.
Crocket then fled with his 2-year-old son, police say.
An unmarked Tampa police car had been trailing Crockett when he exited a freeway after passing a highway sign about an Amber alert for the child, Dugan said.
“The suspect at some point realized it was a Tampa police officer behind him and tried to flee the scene,” which sparked a pursuit that “lasted for quite some time,” Dugan said.
It ended when Crockett crashed on an exit ramp to I-75, police said.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office says that Crockett will be extradited to Georgia on three counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. Deputies along with the child’s mother were on the way to Florida to pick up the toddler Wednesday night.
Ben Kesslen is a reporter for NBC News.
Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.