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Police: Gary gang member helped Hobart Walmart shooter flee authorities
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Police: Gary gang member helped Hobart Walmart shooter flee authorities

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An alleged gang member is charged with helping Alex C. Hughes flee authorities Tuesday while Hughes was wanted in the double shooting at a Hobart Walmart.

Jimmy L. Jackson Jr., 26, of Gary, was charged Thursday in Lake Criminal Court with assisting a criminal, a level 5 felony, and misdemeanor reckless driving.

On Tuesday, members of the FBI Gang Response Investigative Team were staking out a residence in the 1300 block of East 51st Place of Gary, court records state. The law enforcement officers were waiting for a warrant to search the home for Hughes, who was wanted on attempted murder charges in the Sept. 30 shooting of a Gary man and his 9-year-old son at a Walmart off U.S. 30 in Hobart.

Officers observed a white Hyundai with a single passenger suspiciously circling the neighborhood. The vehicle then began circling a paved trail located behind the residence.

Officers searching the area discovered a second passenger had gotten into the vehicle, which then went north on Georgia Street toward 44th Avenue. The vehicle ignored several stop signs as it turned west on 39th Street and then north on Broadway, records state.

The vehicle was paced at one point at more than 80 miles per hour in a 20 mile per hour speed zone.

Officers briefly lost the vehicle near 39th and Broadway. When they spotted it again, the second passenger was gone. The vehicle was stopped and police identified the driver as Jackson, records state.

A perimeter was established in the area of Ridge Road and Tyler Avenue. The Lake County sheriff's office helicopter was dispatched to search for Hughes, who was eventually found hiding underneath a vehicle in the 3600 block of Monroe Street.

Officers noted Jackson and Hughes were both associates of the Get Fresh Boys street gang. The father wounded in the Walmart shooting was allegedly an associate of the Glen Park Associates street gang, which has been feuding with the Get Fresh Boys since 2011.

Jackson declined to speak with police. He was in custody Thursday on a $30,000 surety bond.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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