Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Charged in Putnam Shooting, Chase Pursued Car Rams Vacant House

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Charged in Putnam Shooting, Chase Pursued Car Rams Vacant House

Article excerpt

Byline: Dana Treen, Times-Union staff writer

Two Gainesville men were charged with attempted murder and other offenses after a shooting and car chase across Putnam County that began shortly after 10 p.m. Monday and reached speeds of more than 100 mph.

Mark Jackson, 20, and Dennis Darby, 23, were charged with the shooting of East Palatka resident Charles Anthony Davis, 19, who was in critical condition yesterday at Shands Jacksonville hospital, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Jackson and Darby were arrested in the small community of Johnson near the Alachua County line when they crashed into an abandoned house following a 30-mile chase. It started in East Palatka, crossed over the St. Johns River and traveled through Palatka and the communities of Francis, Hollister and Interlachen on Florida 20.

The chase began after deputies patrolling in East Palatka heard gunfire and found a man lying in the street at Fifth and Cross streets a block away. The deputies, who saw two men running to a white Ford Crown Victoria at the scene, began the pursuit.

The chase exceeded 100 mph and included attempts by deputies to stop the Crown Victoria with tire-flattening devices. According to the department, one tire was flattened about 5 miles west of Palatka but additional attempts were unsuccessful. The pursuit continued, with the Ford running other cars off the road until it crashed into an abandoned house at Florida 20 and County Road 21.

Jackson and Darby were charged with fleeing and attempting to elude police, reckless driving and driving without proper licenses. The two men also are being investigated in a Palatka robbery that happened about 15 minutes before the East Palatka shooting.


ROBBER SOUGHT: Jacksonville police are searching for a faded red Chevrolet Cavalier used in an armed Pizza Hut robbery that ended with the shooting of a 56-year-old employee.

The employee, who was shot in the leg as the masked robber was leaving the takeout restaurant in Lakewood, was treated and released from Shands Jacksonville hospital, police said. …

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