70-year-old credited with capturing man who fired at deputy

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. - A 70-year-old Jefferson County man caught a person suspected of shooting at a sheriff's deputy Thursday and leading authorities on a manhunt. The suspect was hiding in the man's shed.

Deputies were initially called to the intersection of Highway JJ and Highway T in Valley Mines Thursday in response to calls of a suspicious person. The man pulled out a handgun when officers tried to make verbal contact and shot at one deputy before running off into the woods.

A patrol was struck by four rounds. Luckily none, of the deputies involved were injured.

A search began immediately for the suspect, who turned up in the 70-year-old's shed early Friday morning.

"(He's) sitting freezing begging me not to kill him," said the man, who we're identifying only as "Jerry."

Detectives believe the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Jacob Wray, hid out in the woods all night. Jerry said he checked his shed after hearing news reports about the manhunt.

"I told him if he got up I would kill him. He said, 'please don't kill me,'" Jerry said.

Wray was cold and wet, Jerry said. Authorities found a weapon about 100 feet away from the shed. Jerry's wife called the sheriff and then brought Wray a warm blanket. Jerry said Wray denied firing at the deputy.

Meanwhile, detectives were trying to determine a motive.

"Might be suicide-by-cop, where he wanted the officer to shoot him…but we have some evidence that contradicts that," said Captain Gary Higginbotham, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

Jerry's neighbors were grateful for his vigilance.

"Knowing that he shot at the cops (Thursday), it's a pretty big thing," said resident Clyde Womack.

Jerry said he thought Wray needed help.

"I didn't feel threatened," he said. "(Wray) was pathetic; he was cold and miserable."

Wray was charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action, and unlawful possession of a firearm. He was jailed on a $750,000 bond.