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Suspect dead after pursuit, exchange of gunfire with Jefferson City police

Suspect dead after pursuit, exchange of gunfire with Jefferson City police

August 8th, 2019 in Local News

Officers from multiple local law enforcement agencies gather at a crime scene Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, near U.S. 54 in Callaway County. Officers began pursuing a vehicle in a high-speed chase through downtown Jefferson City and east on U.S. 54. The suspect then exited their vehicle just North of Bloomfield and began shooting at officers.

Photo by Sally Ince /Fulton Sun.

One person is dead following a Thursday chase with authorities that started in Jefferson City and traveled into Callaway County, and the Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating the series of events that led to his death.

Jefferson City police officers attempted to stop a vehicle near West Schroeder Way and Broadway Street at approximately 2:17 p.m., according to Jefferson City Police Department reports.

The driver failed to stop, and the pursuit began.

"I can tell you we were not trying to stop him on a traffic violation," said JCPD spokesman Lt. David Williams.

The pursuit traveled east on West Miller Street to Bolivar Street and eventually crossed the Missouri River Bridge into Callaway County, with the vehicle continuing at speeds over 75 miles per hour.

Callaway County Sheriff's Department personnel joined the pursuit, which continued north until the vehicle's tires were deflated using tire spikes.

Once the vehicle was disabled just north of New Bloomfield on U.S. 54., the driver exited the vehicle and fired at officers, then fled into the wood line while continuing to exchange gunfire with officers, according to JCPD reports.

Law enforcement officers from several agencies created a perimeter and before a search could be started, the driver reappeared.

The man then suffered a fatal gunshot wound.

"We didn't know he was armed until after he got out of the vehicle," Williams said. "He stopped in the middle of 54, north of Route BB, and started firing; and Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism and a JCPD officer returned fire."

No officers were injured, Williams said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are involved in the continuing investigation, which is being conducted by the Missouri Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control.

Williams said it is too early determine whether the suspect was struck by law enforcement gunfire or suffered a self-inflicted wound.