NEW DETAILS: The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department has taken the suspect into custody. According to a department spokesperson, a homeowner noticed a shed door open and contacted law enforcement. The resident then found a man, later confirmed to be the suspect being sought in the shooting incident Thursday, in the shed and held him at gunpoint until officers arrived. The suspect was taken into custody with no further incident. We'll have more on this story as details are made available.
ORIGINAL STORY: A manhunt was underway in Valles Mines late Thursday afternoon in the area of Route JJ near Route T after a man reportedly fired shots at a Jefferson County deputy who was called to the area for a suspicious person.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department Captain Gary Higginbotham said they were called to the area about 3 p.m. and one of their deputies responded.
“The guy was about 15 feet away from him when the deputy made verbal contact with him,” said Higginbotham. “Almost immediately the guy turned around and fired shots at the deputy. The deputy was not hit, but his vehicle was hit with one shot.”
Higginbotham said approximately four rounds were fired and the deputy did not fire any rounds at the suspect.
“The suspect fled into the woods and at another point, during perimeter setup and the search, more shots were fired, but not by law enforcement as far as we know,” said Higginbotham. “So the suspect fired again, but nobody had eyes on him at that time.”
He added they don’t know if he fired at law enforcement again or not. The suspect was described as a white male wearing a red flannel shirt and with some sort of backpack or fanny pack. He was believed to be armed with a handgun of some kind.
“That is the only the description we have so we don’t have much to go on,” said Higginbotham. “There was a vehicle in the area and it was a recovered stolen vehicle, but we don’t know if he was involved in that.”
As of 8:30 p.m. officials said they have changed their strategy but they are still in the area. They don't believe the man is in the area anymore. They have someone they would like to speak to about the incident but they would not elaborate.
Higginbotham added he recommended people in that area stay inside and if anyone spots the man not to approach him and to contact them immediately by calling 911.