Crime

Bibb County carjacking suspect who ran over girlfriend, shot dead by Florida police

Jason Emerson Connell
Jason Emerson Connell

A man sought for a carjacking in Macon was shot and killed Wednesday by Jacksonville, Florida, police.

Jason Emerson Connell, 43, was shot multiple times and killed by an officer for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office after he fired upon the officer, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Scott Dingee said a videotaped news conference posted on the agency’s Facebook page.

On Dec. 7 in Macon, Connell had an argument with his girlfriend, Ashley Day and ran over her with a car. He later carjacked another woman’s Chevy Cruze and fled the scene.

According to Dingee, here’s what happened in Florida:

Two sheriff’s officers spotted a red 2012 Chevy Cruze in the parking lot of a Motel 6 on Dunn Avenue in Jacksonville, Florida, at about 10:15 a.m.

The trunk of the car was open, which is what caught their attention. A computer check of the Georgia tag came up assigned to another vehicle. The car’s VIN number was run on the car, and it came up stolen out of Macon on Dec. 7 in a carjacking.

While officers were investigating the car, 26-year-old Day came out and told them the car belonged to her boyfriend, later identified as Connell, who was inside the motel.

During the Florida incident, Day was detained for questioning, Connell came outside carrying a large black purse with one of his hands inside the purse, Dingee said.

A witness said she heard Field Training Officer C.K. Jimenez repeatedly order Connell to stop, and the other officer who did not fire heard Jimenez say repeatedly “drop the bag.”

“As the suspect got to within approximately five feet of Officer Jimenez, the suspect dropped the bag, produced a revolver and fired one time,” Dingee said. “Officer Jimenez then returned fire expending 15 rounds, striking the suspect multiple times.”

Connell was pronounced dead on the scene.

A .38-caliber handgun was found on scene with one expended round, which confirmed Connell had fired the loaded weapon, Dingee said.

Connell was released on parole from a Georgia prison earlier this year, and he was wanted on a parole violation in addition to the outstanding warrants in Bibb County for hijacking a vehicle, attempted hijacking of a vehicle and aggravated assault.

Connell knew from family members that he was wanted.

Prior to the incident, Connell told Day and family members “he would never return to prison and that if he was confronted by police, he would kill the officer and others that were around,” Dingee said.

Had Jimenez not been alert to Connell approaching, he and possibly the other officer likely would have been shot by Connell, Dingee said.

“Miss Day has not been tied to the hijacking of the Chevrolet Cruze, and she’s not been charged with any crimes at this time,” Dingee said.

Shortly before noon Dec. 7, Connell was allegedly arguing with Day in the 900 block of Patterson Street near Napier Avenue while inside a black, older model Mercedes Benz. He allegedly pulled Day out of the passenger side of the car, and she was run over during the scuffle.

Day was hospitalized in stable condition and later released.

At 12:12 p.m. the same day, Connell allegedly had accosted another woman in the parking lot of a veterinarian clinic and swiped her car keys. The victim, who was unharmed, had refused to give him a ride when he walked up to her in the parking lot.

Connell fled the scene of the carjacking at Hudspeth Animal Hospital on Pio Nono Avenue near Roff Avenue in the stolen Chevrolet Cruze.

The incidents remain under investigation.

“They’re investigating the totality of everything that took place,” Bibb County sheriff’s Lt. Sean DeFoe said. “But as far as the carjacking is concerned, (Connell) was acting alone on that. (Day) was on the way to the hospital after their domestic dispute. They’re investigating what took place after (Day) was released from the hospital.”

Connell had been in out and out of Georgia prisons from August 1999 to February of this year for multiple Bibb County convictions over the years, including motor vehicle theft, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, theft by taking, forgery and theft by conversion, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website. He also had a 2006 robbery conviction in Pasco County, Florida, Dingee said.

Becky Purser covers breaking and Houston County news. She previously covered crime and courts for Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.
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