Despite the suspect reaching for a gun he had dropped after running from them, deputies were able to safely take an armed carjacking suspect into custody just after midnight April 16.
The suspect had reportedly just stolen a car at gunpoint from River Bend in rural Jackson County. The victims reported the suspect was armed with both a rifle and handgun. A deputy spotted the stolen vehicle unoccupied at a convenience store at 900 S. Leonard Street in Liberty. Other deputies moved into the area. They circled the store and soon saw him in the car’s driver’s seat. They ordered him to show his hands. Instead, he ducked down and drove off at a high rate of speed.
Deputies pursued the suspect north on 291 Highway. The suspect made a U-turn at the intersection of 152 Highway, going back southbound on 291. He attempted to turn from 291 onto Liberty Drive but struck the concrete media, disabling his vehicle. Deputies were right behind him, but he got out and started running with a rifle in hand. He ran into the Liberty Corners shopping center area.
The suspect tripped and fell in the Hardee’s parking lot, dropping his rifle and backpack. Deputies ordered him at gunpoint to leave them, but he reached back down. He only picked up the backpack. To prevent him from getting back to the gun, two deputies tackled him. He fought against them, and a third deputy had to help get the suspect’s hands behind his back and into handcuffs.
Deputies later located a handgun the suspect had dropped along the path he’d run from his wrecked vehicle. They determined the rifle was stolen. Both guns were loaded and ready to fire.
The suspect, 23-year-old John Lucas, Jr., has been charged in Clay County with tampering with a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest by fleeing. He remains in the Clay County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.
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