Man fleeing from deputies jumps into Gulf to avoid arrest after critically stabbing, burning victim

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A man who is facing attempted first-degree murder charges is in custody at a Bay Area hospital after deputies say he stabbed another man and lit him on fire before jumping off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies went to the 10,000 block of Banfield Drive in Riverview to check out a report of a fire.

Upon arrival, first responders found a man suffering from upper body trauma and severe burns.

He was taken to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.

Detectives say they quickly identified 53-year-old Donnie Adams as the suspect.

According to HCSO, Adams fled the scene before deputies and fire crews arrived and said he was going to kill himself.

Deputies say Adams was spotted in Manatee County about 30 minutes later.

According to HCSO, Adams turned onto the Skyway Bridge, stopped at the south end, exited the vehicle and entered the water.

Deputies say they spoke with Adams for several minutes and asked him to get out of the water.

Ultimately, deputies went into the water and helped carry Adams out.

Deputies say Adams also sustained severe burns that appeared to be self-inflicted, and was transported to a local hospital.

"The efforts of our deputies to engage with the suspect saved his life despite the severity of his injuries," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Our commitment to preserving life, even in the face of such a horrific crime, demonstrates the values we uphold at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. We will work tirelessly alongside the State Attorney’s Office to ensure that justice is served, and our community remains safe from such senseless acts of violence."

Adams is in custody at an area hospital.

HCSO says an arrest warrant was issued for him for attempted first-degree murder and arson.

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