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Law & Order

Jacksonville School Bus Shooting Fugitive Caught In Georgia

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News4Jax

HINESVILLE, Ga. - A 16-year-old wanted in a school bus shooting on Jacksonville's Westside last week was arrested Thursday night during a traffic stop in Liberty County, Georgia. Authorities said he was treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound, then locked up in a juvenile facility in Georgia.

Edgar Robles was wanted on two counts of attempted murder and one count of firing deadly missiles for the shooting that injured two teenage girls last Thursday. Liberty County is about 30 miles south of Savannah.

The Liberty County Sheriff's Department reported that Robles apparently shot himself in the leg Wednesday night, and that wound had not been treated. 

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Georgia deputies said Robles was picked up during a traffic stop near the Glenbrook Mobile Home Park, taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center, then released to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Georgia.

Long said the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had contacted Liberty County a few days ago with information that Robles was in that area. The arrest was made late Thursday night on Dunlevie Road, near the cities of Allenhurst and Walthourville.

"Obviously he knew someone, because he had been here for a couple of days," Liberty County Chief Deputy Jon Long said. "We had a series of leads developed over the past few days, and this one panned out."

The Sheriff's Department searched for Robles at two locations but didn't find him, and then got a tip Wednesday that Robles was suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Wednesday night, officers set up surveillance near the mobile home park, and Long said Robles was taken into custody without incident.

The person with Robles in the car during the traffic stop was questioned, but not arrested. It wasn't clear if that person knew Robles was a fugitive.

Residents near the mobile home park were stunned to learn that someone accused of shooting at a school bus was on the run and in Liberty County, a place some said is very quiet.

“It is kind of crazy, because there are kids out here. It's a lot of kids who stay out here with their families,” neighbor Quanesha Bean said. “It is really a shock.”

News4Jax was told Robles was being held at the Claxton Youth Detention Center. He will face an extradition hearing before being transferred to Jacksonville to face charges. How soon that would happen was not clear, but Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives were in Georgia on Friday.

“They have different extradition codes on the warrants,” News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. “Sometimes it could be state only or Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas and sometimes countrywide. I'm sure this was a countrywide warrant. Wherever he would have been captured in the United States, JSO would have sent people out there to pick him up.”

For security reasons, law enforcement couldn't say when Robles would be brought back to Jacksonville. 

Investigators believe Robles had planned a fight at the bus stop, and when he showed up and started yelling at teens to get off the bus, someone opened a window and spat on him. Police say that's when Robles pulled a gun and fired shots into the bus, which was bringing 30 students home from three alternative middle and high schools. 

Police said Robles was looking to shoot specific boys who were on the bus. Someone on the bus was providing turn-by-turn updates on the buses' location.

Two girls on the bus, Shakayla Singleton and Ayana Sherman, were injured in the shooting.  Police said they were not the intended targets.

Singleton was released from the hospital one day after the shooting.

Sherman was recovering at Wolfson Children's Hospital. Her grandmother told News4Jax she was shot in the back of the head and is worried she may lose vision in one eye.

“She's the sweetest little granddaughter you'd ever want,” Rosa Asberry said. “Ayana doesn't bother anybody. She don't hardly come out of the apartment of her house. If she comes, she'll come to my house. She dances in the church. They dance to the music. That's what she likes to do.”

Sherman was sitting in the window seat next to the bus driver's aide. Singleton was sitting behind her.

Police said the bus driver was picking up students from other schools when Robles fired shots at the bus, hitting the two girls in the head.

For hours after the shootings, police, some with rifles in hand, searched for blocks around the scene of the gunfire. 

UNCUT: Liberty County briefing on Robles' arrest

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