83ºF

Deputies say man mentioned ISIS before being shot near I-75

Earl Jackson, 59, accused at firing at trooper near Gainesville

MIAMI – Friends and family members of a man accused of firing at a state trooper on a north Florida highway before he was shot dead said they are shocked by the incident.

"The Earl that I know would do nothing like this," Jackson's church colleague Sandra Freeman said.

Loved ones said Earl Jackson, 59, of Miami, had worked as a corrections sergeant at the Miami-Dade County courthouse for 26 years.

"(He was) very humble, compassionate (and) hardworking," a man who was friend's with Jackson said.

ALSO: Attorney says alleged ISIS sympathizer from Key West 'very immature'

Jackson was shot and killed two weeks ago at the end of a five-hour manhunt in the woods off Interstate 75 near Gainesville.

Officials with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office said Jackson was stopped on the shoulder and fired shots at deputies.

The highway was shut down for hours as law enforcement officials searched for Jackson.

"When deputies confronted him in the woods, he made some statements and called out the name ISIS," Alachua County Sheriff's Office spokesman Art Forgey said. 

Deputies said they checked Jackson's car for explosives.

"Where you get this ISIS stuff from? That's crazy," Jackson's neighbor Michael Bragg said. 

Some of Jackson's friends said the details of the shooting sound like a cover up by deputies.

"Especially with all things happening to black guys -- you know, police shootings and all of these other things," Bragg said.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10


About the Author: