ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - A family is grieving after their loved one who was hit and killed by an 18-year-old driver fleeing from deputies, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect has only been an adult for eight months. Law enforcement officers say he had run-ins with officers as a teen. Now, deputies say he may face years of his adult life in jail.
Thursday night, around 9:30, police say 18-year-old Jamar Johnson was driving a Nissan Maxima near Park Boulevard and 44th Street. A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy tried to pull him over for a broken taillight and window tint violation, but Johnson allegedly took off.
Deputies said they did not chase him, but tracked him in unmarked vehicles as he raced southbound on Interstate 275. Deputies say Johnson abruptly crossed three lanes of traffic to exit at 5th Avenue, sped through a red light, and was hit by another car.
As his vehicle spun, he mowed down 30-year-old Jee-esta Shurock, who was walking in the crosswalk. She later died at the hospital.
Deputies used a K-9 to track Johnson down and take him into custody.
Deputies asked Johnson if he would do anything differently.
“And his response was, ‘Well, I guess I should have stopped and got my ticket.’ He was not remorseful. He was not repentant. He was like, ‘Whatever, I guess I should have stopped and got my ticket.’ It was a very flippant response and cavalier attitude about it,” explained Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Johnson had minor injuries and was taken to Pinellas County Jail after being released from the hospital. He faces several charges including vehicular homicide, fleeing, and leaving the scene of a crash.
The woman driving the car that hit Johnson's was not injured, deputies said.