Man calls 911 and claims people in trees are trying to kill him

Posted 10/25/22

An Okeechobee man allegedly called 911 claiming a burglar was trying to get into his house and later fired multiple rounds saying there were …

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Man calls 911 and claims people in trees are trying to kill him

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OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee man allegedly called 911 claiming a burglar was trying to get into his house and later fired multiple rounds saying there were people in the trees trying to kill him.

Justin Edwards, 36, from Clewiston, was arrested Oct. 22 by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with three counts assault with a deadly weapon, resisting an officer with violence, possession of cocaine and one count discharging a firearm in public.

According to information released by the sheriff’s office, Edwards called 911 early on Sunday, Oct. 16 and told dispatch someone was trying to break into his house. He told them he was armed with a gun and hiding in a closet. When deputies arrived, the dispatcher told Edwards the officers were outside and asked him to go out and speak to them, but he refused. The dispatcher said Edwards claimed there were people in his hallway, and he could not come out. He was told if he did not come out, the deputies would leave because there was no evidence a crime had been or was being committed.

Just as the deputies began walking toward their vehicles, a single gunshot from inside the residence was heard, and the deputies took cover behind their vehicles. During the following 25 minutes, Edwards fired approximately 40 additional rounds from inside the house.

Just after 6:30 a.m., the report continues, Edwards came running out of the house with his hands in the air. Deputy Matthew Huffman told him to get down on the ground, but he refused. He was eventually restrained and placed into a patrol car where he reportedly urinated all over himself and the seat. The report notes, Edwards said there were people in the trees trying to kill him.

Inside the residence, the deputies reportedly located a black Ghost GF15 AR, five green ammo cans, three grams of cocaine, four grams of marijuana and four AR15 magazines.

Bond was set at $85,000.

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