2 Shootings, Chase Preceded Deadly Crash Near Union City
UNION CITY, Oklahoma - A suspect led police more than 50 miles through three counties in Oklahoma. There were two shootings, a police chase, and then a deadly crash.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) is leading the investigation.
“We’re investigating to find out, are these the only shootings that this person may be responsible for?” said spokesperson Mark Woodward.
On I-40 near Weatherford, the first shot rang out. Custer County Sheriff’s Office says it happened before 7:30 a.m. on Friday. The back window of a red vehicle was hit while the driver was on the road. The driver was not injured.
Woodward said a bulletin was sent out to warn other officers about an armed motorist. Shortly after the alert was sent, another victim approached an OBN agent near the Geary-Watonga exit on I-40. This person told the agent her windows were shot out. She then pointed at a car that was passing in front of the agents, which is when a chase began. Multiple police agencies were involved.
This was not a high-speed chase, according to Woodward. It went more than 10 miles. He said the suspect was driving at a normal speed, but refused to pull over. The suspect eventually turned onto Highway 81.
“Several vehicles had seen that law enforcement were coming and they had pulled off onto the far right side of the road,” said Woodward.
This was in Union City on U.S. 81. The driver saw these cars lined up and swerved into a semi that was at the front of the line. The suspect died on the scene.
“It would appear that the driver did intentionally commit suicide,” Woodward said.
The driver of the semi was taken to the hospital, and is expected to be OK. Both the semi and the car were in pieces. Police were able to find a short-barrel shotgun and some shell casings in the suspect’s vehicle.
“It’s difficult to tell what may have been going through the mind of the driver, and such violent lengths to shoot at innocent people on the highway and ultimately feel the despair to take his own life,” said Woodward.
Woodward said OBN is continuing the investigation. The suspect’s name has not been released pending next of kin notification.