EATONVILLE, Fla. – The man accused of killing a woman and injuring a man in Eatonville Christmas morning is now in custody, officials said Saturday.
Mayor Eddie Cole said in a Facebook post Saturday morning that 38-year-old Jason Raymond MacDonald, who was wanted in connection with the shooting death of 34-year-old Cindy Jackson, was located in Texas near the Mexico border before he was chased by authorities and eventually apprehended.
Police confirmed during a press conference Saturday that MacDonald was arrested near Brownsville at 1 a.m. by Texas State Patrol officers.
Eatonville police said the shooting happened shortly after 7 a.m. Dec. 25 inside a rooming house on Washington Avenue.
Jackson died at the scene and Arthur Glover, 70, suffered several gunshot wounds and was hospitalized. Detectives said Glover was able to identify MacDonald as the alleged gunman.
On Tuesday, police said, MacDonald allegedly sped away from the scene in a black Dodge Ram pickup truck that was owned by one of the victims.
Police said during the press conference Saturday that after they released information about the stolen vehicle, it spread throughout the country, which helped lead to MacDonald's arrest.
"There was a smart trooper that recognized that vehicle, got behind it, ran the tag and it came back as a stolen vehicle connected to a homicide," Police Chief Joseph Jenkins said.
Jenkins said the Police Department received several tips that MacDonald may have been trying to flee the country.
"We did receive information that he maybe trying to get to Mexico and it appears that was the case," Jenkins said.
Police said authorities did find a weapon during MacDonald's arrest, but that it was unclear whether it was used in the murder.
News 6 investigated and found out MacDonald has an extensive criminal history that includes two stints in Florida prison, according to court records.
His charges range from criminal mischief to possessing and selling cocaine, records show.
Officers said Tuesday that they had an active warrant for MacDonald, which included charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and grand theft auto.
The stepmother of Jackson told News 6 that her stepdaughter was sweet, kind and loving. She said Jackson was celebrating her 34th birthday Monday -- on Christmas.
"My questions are, what stirred it up?" said Theresa Jackson, who knew the victim. "Why would he even attempt to do that to her? She didn't harm him. She didn't harm him."
Eatonville police confirmed on Tuesday that MacDonald was temporarily living in the home at the time of the shooting.
Jenkins said Saturday that MacDonald was not a resident of Eatonville, and that the victims had taken him in "as an act of kindness."
Police said during the press conference that Glover was released from the hospital and is recovering.
Cole wrote on Facebook Saturday morning that MacDonald's capturing was a relief for the families of both victims and the entire community.
"It is with a SPIRIT of relief and a praise to God to inform the families, residents and friends of Cindy Jackson and Arthur Glover that the allege (sic) suspect Jason Raymond MacDonald was apprehended in Texas near Brownsville (Mexico border). After a chase and foot pursuit MacDonald was caught. This will allow both families and the community to start the healing process. As a community that have not experience (sic) a murder in three years, know that one is too many. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends. Let’s all see how we can assist the Jackson family in any way. God’s blessings on you and the community of Eatonville. Mayor Eddie Cole."
That sort of crime was not typical for the area, as Jackson's death was the first murder in three years to take place in Eatonville, according to Cole.
Police did not say what may have led to the shooting. Officers said the shooting is still being investigated.