A pursuit stretching two states that ultimately ended in two deaths began in Franklin County, according to reports.
It began after 9 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 50 near Highway 47 in Union, KMOV reported. Officers were chasing the car because it was connected to a kidnapping and shooting in Jefferson City.
Missouri State Highway Patrol terminated the pursuit a few minutes after it started. A minute later, Jefferson City Police told the patrol the car was connected to a shooting there.
Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies then pursued the vehicle shortly after that on Interstate 44, according to KMOV.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Leslie K. Austin, 39, Jefferson City, kidnapped his girlfriend and their child.
St. Louis County police joined the pursuit on I-44 in Franklin County. The suspect sped down I-44 into downtown St. Louis and then went across the Poplar Street Bridge into Illinois around 9:35 p.m., according to KMOV.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Trooper Josh Korando of the Illinois State Police said the suspect and the two kidnapped victims were in a car that crossed the Poplar Street Bridge into Illinois at 9:34 p.m. Tuesday. Police from several jurisdictions were in pursuit.
Once in Illinois, the woman and child were able to escape the vehicle on Illinois Highway 140. Austin tried to carjack another vehicle, and he fatally shot Gregory Price, 67, of the Florissant area, the motorist he targeted in the area of Illinois 140 near Shoal Creek, according to reports.
Bond County deputies threw down “stop sticks” to deflate the tires of the fleeing car on Highway 140 near the Bond and Madison County line, the Post-Dispatch reported.
The tactic worked, and the suspect’s car was slowed. However, the pursuit continued at low speeds until a shootout near Terrapin Ridge Road, Greendville, Ill.
Austin got out of his car at a dead end and fired several rounds of gunfire at pursuing officers, Korando said. The officers shot back, reports said.
Police soon found Austin dead.
Illinois State Police and officers
from several jurisdictions were involved in the pursuit and shootout, but none were hurt.