An urgent search for a murder suspect and his 2-year-old son kicked off Tuesday night after three members of the boy’s family were found shot to death in their Macon home.
It ended Wednesday evening after a high-speed chase on a Florida interstate and a tense, hourslong standoff with authorities. By the time it was over, the child was safely surrendered and 29-year-old Caesar Zamien Lamar Crockett Jr. was taken into custody.
****Update: Caesar Crockett handed over 2-year-old King Crockett to officers, unharmed after a vehicle crash. Caesar is...
Georgia authorities issued a Levi’s Call, the state’s version of an Amber Alert, for 2-year-old King Crockett early Wednesday morning after the bodies of his grandparents and an aunt were discovered, and the toddler could not be located.
Deputies were called to the family’s home on Moreland Avenue about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. They found three victims — 67-year-old Janet Samuel, her husband, 68-year-old James Samuel, and her daughter, 47-year-old Lechasta Childs — shot multiple times and killed.
Jamila French, 30, the toddler’s mother, was also injured. Deputies were told Crockett started shooting after he and French were involved in an physical altercation, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
“Crockett pulled a firearm and shot French’s mother and stepfather and sister, killing them,” officials said.
French was treated for injuries she sustained during the altercation and released.
According to the sheriff’s office, Crockett took his son and left the scene of the shooting in a black Pontiac G5. They were believed to be headed for Florida, where Crockett’s family lived.
The Pontiac was finally spotted about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday near I-75 in Tampa. The Florida Highway Patrol tried to stop the vehicle and a chase ensued, reaching speeds of 120 mph down I-4, authorities said.
The chase came to an end when Crockett wrecked the Pontiac on the exit ramp from eastbound I-4 to I-75. He then barricaded himself in the vehicle with a gun and refused to hand over his son, according to officials.
Credit: Florida Highway Patrol
Credit: Florida Highway Patrol
The state patrol, working with local police, eventually negotiated the surrender of the 2-year-old. Crockett did not surrender until about 7:40 p.m., more than six hours after the initial chase began.
King Crockett was not injured during the ordeal, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. His mother and sheriff’s deputies traveled to Florida on Wednesday to pick up the boy from local child protective services.
French and her son were reunited Thursday.
This is the look on a mother’s face when she is reunited with her child! Bibb County Sheriff's Office investigators...
“On behalf of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, I send my sincere appreciation to the Florida law enforcement officers for their diligence and professionalism in rescuing little King Crockett and for taking into custody a very dangerous and merciless suspect,” Sheriff David Davis said in a statement.
Crockett will be extradited back to Georgia to face three counts of murder and one count of kidnapping in connection with the Macon shooting, which remains under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at 478-751-7500 or Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.