METAIRIE, La. -- The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office has released the names of the suspects accused of robbing Jeff's Haberdashery at gunpoint Wednesday morning, including the man who died after jumping off an elevated portion of the interstate in an effort to evade capture.
Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jeff's Haberdashery had just opened for business for the day. Workers say they were helping a customer when two men -- George Simon and Ron Walker -- came into the store, one of them carrying what appeared to be an assault-style rifle.
The two robbers forced the workers and customer to get on the ground as they removed merchandise from the store by the armful. The crime only lasted a few moments, and the robbers got away with thousands of dollars in jeans, shirts, and other clothing.
Later that day, JPSO, along with St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's deputies, set up surveillance on a home where the robbers were believed to be hiding. Three men left the St. John Parish home in a black Infinity and got on I-10.
While driving on I-10, the black Infinity approached an area of delayed traffic due to an accident. The black Infinity crashed into the back of an 18-wheeler, and three men jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to flee the scene. St. John deputies were behind them.
The three men jumped off the elevated portion of the interstate. One of the men -- 53-year-old Ron Walker -- succumbed to the injuries he sustained while trying to flee from police. He died at a local hospital.
The other two men, 36-year-old George Simon and his stepson, Tahj Boatman, survived. Simon suffered a dislocated hip.
It appears that Simon and Walker were the two men who robbed Jeff's Haberdashery, based on Simon's confession, Lopinto said. The stepson is not believed to be involved in the armed robbery, but he will still be charged for resisting arrest.
A search of the home near LaPlace uncovered numerous shirts that had been stolen during the robbery, still with the tags, along with the assault-style rifle that witnesses described at the scene.
The black Infinity had even more merchandise from the store.
"We gave them every opportunity to surrender," St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Michael Tregre said. "The young man who died last night … he was incapacitated when he fell, my officers went to apprehend him, he still resisted."