Bob Tuskin Files Investigative Report on Alleged Shooter and ISIS Threat on July 25, 2015
Mr. Jackson appears well-liked by his friends on social media. News coverage of this event has taken many evasive turns with confusing and contradictory comments by officials and the media.
Bob Tuskin Report
Investigative reporter and talk-show host, Bob Tuskin attempted to uncover inconsistencies in the “official story” concerning an alleged lone-nut shooting on I-75 in Alachua County, Fl on July 25, 2015.
The massive multi-agency response to what began as little more than a “discharge of firearm” incident appeared to be excessive. To Bob, the event appeared to look more like a pre-planned exercise until he discovered that Mr. Jackson was making comments about ISIS. The alleged ISIS comments appeared early on WCJB but was not repeated in further updates throughout the day. In fact, the ISIS comment that appeared only one time was deleted, with an updated news item assigned to the same url as the deleted story – an apparent attempt to scrub all mentions of “ISIS” without actually making a formal, written retraction.
Likely sparked by Mr Jackson’s alleged ISIS comments, this next video reveals how a terrorist event can cause a massive distraction to law enforcement from two counties including the Marion County Sheriff and Ocala police department in addition to their counterpart agencies in Alachua County. Both Counties are in possession of THE ROOK – an advanced SWAT team vehicle intended to rapidly defuse these situations with a minimum of casualties and loss of life – including Mr. Jackson, a shooter with likely mental health issues. But for some reason, the take-down of this Mr Jackson took over 5 hours and failed to demonstrate that the ROOK, The Bearcat or the MRAP were effective at quickly dealing with a lone shooter who was armed with only a single handgun.
Despite the massive resources and excessive swarm of agencies from two counties, Mr. Jackson was not rescued for treatment for mental health issues. Instead, Jackson was the only person shot and ultimately killed in the prolonged, 5 hour agony of events.
Meanwhile, WKMG-6 reported hundreds of I-75 motorists were sitting duck targets without food, water and bathrooms. The life-threatening heat exceeded 100 deg F. The risk of heat stroke escalated when many drivers were ultimately required to turn off their engines and air conditioners off to save fuel.
BELOW: The following video is a motorist report uploaded to Youtube channel that suffered account termination for alleged 3rd party violations. The video shows Marion County Sheriff and City of Ocala police converging to the scene. The shooters car appears to be a white, 4-door utility vehicle with law enforcement searching the car for evidence. The video was rescued prior to account termination and uploaded here
It’s not clear why an armored ROOK from Marion County was deployed to the scene in Alachua County when both Sheriff agencies are in possession of this Swat armored vehicle technology.
WCJB posted a report claiming they had early information from officials in the field that the shooter was allegedly making “terrorist statements about “ISIS”. The massive call-out of law enforcement from Alachua and Marion counties was undoubtedly due to the threat of an ISIS attack, rather than a more likely incident involving a black, retired police officer with mental health issues, firing random shots in the woods.
The Miami Herald reported that is was a Marion County Sheriff deputy who exchanged gunfire with Jackson. Given the massive security afforded by the ROOK it remains unclear why a decision was made shoot and kill Jackson rather than use the ROOK to capture him for psychological evaluation.
“Marion County deployed a vehicle called a Rook, a small, enclosed, one-man vehicle that assists SWAT and can trek through the woods. Finally, Jackson was spotted by a Marion County deputy. Then gunfire was exchanged, according to the report. Jackson was killed at about 1:30 p.m. Marion County Sheriff’s Capt. Jimmy Polk said one of his deputies was “involved in the incident.” But he didn’t go into detail, and wouldn’t say if the officer had fired a weapon.”
The WCJB news item above was removed from the website and replaced with an updated report with no mention of the ISIS threat, reporting “Man who shot at FHP trooper now dead”
We know that a few bad cops can be dangerous any time but PIO Art Forgey implies that Mr Jackson, who fired a handgun 3 times without striking anyone, requires a two County, multi-agency call-out because,
“with that type of training made him an extra dangerous person”.
In this next video from two days later (7/27) WCJB finally provides full disclosure on the ISIS comments. It’s also evident that Sheriff, Sadie Darnell, correctly assessed this shooter as more of a mental health issue than an active shooter aligned with ISIS.
WCJB GAINESVILLE, Fla. 7/27/2015: Federal investigators are looking into 59-year-old Earl Jackson’s possible association to a terrorist group after a shootout with law enforcement officers.
I-75 was shut down for hours and traffic backed up for miles Saturday, as law enforcement officers from across North Central Florida located and confronted Jackson.
“When deputies confronted him in the woods he made some statements and called the name ISIS,” ASO spokesperson Art Forgey explained Monday.
An explosive detection K-9 team was called on scene to check Jackson’s vehicle that was still along the interstate.
“With those comments we’re very careful and leads us to believe there’s possibly explosives — that’s been the method of operation for ISIS in the past,” Forgey adds.
Forgey did not specify what those comments exactly were.
K-9 deputies found a lock box in his trunk with a firearm.
Law enforcement officials say Jackson was a former correctional officer from Miami.
# # #
Video submitted to the Alachua Post by an alert motorist on 7/25 shows vehicles from several agencies but no sign of the alleged shooter’s car is evident in this on-scene clip.
The deceased man is identified as 59 yo Miami resident, Earl Jackson. (Source)
“Authorities told The Gainesville Sun that a body with a gunshot wound was found Saturday afternoon a few hundred yards from the highway.
Sgt. Tracy Hisler-Pace of Florida Highway Patrol said the trooper was not injured.
Friends and family members said Jackson was a former Florida corrections officer.” (Source)
Two interesting comments beneath the report submitted by Cindy Swirko on July 25 for the Gainesville Sun allege they knew Mr. Jackson. One comment by Jane Washington-White suggested Mr. Jackson had mental health issues.
Looking back at the evening report on the day of the incident below, it’s clear that TV20 avoided reporting Jackson’s ISIS comments consistent with their retraction of the “ISIS comments” news report from earlier in the day. Instead of using Jackson’s ISIS comments as the basis for the massive call-out of force, it was blamed on Mr. Jackson’s experience as a law enforcement officer that made him an “extra dangerous person”.
WCJB – July 25: Traffic on Interstate 75 was delayed for miles as lanes were blocked by law enforcement working to catch a man who shot at a state trooper, causing a massive manhunt that slowed things down for motorists in North Central Florda.
Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the search for the man, who was described by Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputies as mentally unstable.
That man was firing shots throughout the day before he was finally taken down.
The manhunt caused bumper to bumper traffic in both directions after law enforcement shut down the area near I-75 closest to Paynes Prairie in Micanopy all the way up to the Williston Road exit in Gainesville.
Florida Highway Patrol officials say they received a call from a state trooper at around 8:30 this morning while he was inspecting a disabled vehicle near Exit 376 on I-75.
The trooper said he found a man lying near the forest line and approached him to see if he was alright.
That’s when he noticed he had a gun.
“At that point in time, the trooper was seeking cover and attempting to get the person to drop their weapon. The person stood up and entered the woodline. The trooper then was going to back to his unit and of course was going to call this in, and and he heard three distinct gunshot noises,” said Sargeant Tracey Hissler-Pace of Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP called out to multiple law enforcement agencies for assistance.
Officials say that it was a joint effort between multiple law enforcement agencies to conduct the search, noting it was a serious situation because of the suspect’s unknown mental state.
“We don’t know what his state of mind his. He has fired random shots over a period of time. So, it’s not a rapid fire situation where there’s an intended target that we, of which we know, but we are very concerned about this,” says Sheriff Sadie Darnell of Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
The search shut down I-75 for hours both northbound and southbound.
Travelers from both in and out of the state say this is something they weren’t anticipating in their travel plans.
“We thought it was, like, a wreck or something like that. We didn’t think that something this serious was going on,” said Shelby Lawson, who was traveling back to her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio from a vacation in South Florida.
Ultimately, a joint effort between Alachua County and Marion County Sheriff’s Offices took the suspect down.
According to ASO, a rook, or an armed critical incident vehicle, was used to pin the suspect down once he was found.
Rooks have been criticized in the past for being too “heavy-duty” for local law enforcement and police stations.
Officials say gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and law enforcement officers.
The suspect threatened officers and then shot at them first before the gunfire was exchanged.
That susect is now dead, and although officials haven’t specified how it happened, they felt they did their job to protect the public.
“Put yourself in the situation of this trooper doing his job this morning stopping to assist a disabled vehicle, approaches that vehicle, and then is confronted with somebody with a gun, and he’s just doing his job trying to make sure that citizen is getting the service that they need and being safe. But, that trooper was threatened, and our folks have been threatened, and we’re going to do what’s necessary to keep our people safe and the public safe,” Sheriff Darnell said.
This is currently an open and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
The only identification of the suspect that TV20 has been provided with is that he was a black male.
FHP is also not releasing the name of the trooper involved until the investigation is complete.
I-75 is now fully open and operational for both north and southbound lanes.
Traffic is no longer being diverted to US Highway 441.
We will have more updates as the investigation continues.
Exercise Demonstration of THE ROOK in Alachua County Goes Live to Lake City
Near the end of this video you will see an incident where Alachua County Sheriff deployed the ROOK in an exercise. The exercise went live when a call for services came in from a Lake City requesting help with an armed barricade situation (SUN)
- Questions surround shooting death of former Miami-Dade corrections officer (Herald)
- FDLE investigating death of man who shot at FHP trooper on I-75
- Body found near where FHP trooper was shot at on I-75
- Suspect who shot at FHP trooper on I-75 has died
- FHP: Shots fired at Florida Highway Patrol Trooper on I-75; suspect dead
- Deputies: Man who shot at trooper on I-75 in Alachua County now dead
- Marion County Commission supports purchase of The Rook
- Marion SWAT teams getting $255,000 piece of equipment
- Sadie’s Tanks and the Militarization of Small Town Police Departments – Homeland Security
- Alachua County Armored rook in DEMO VIDEO
- VIDEO: History of Armored vehicles