GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio-- Surveillance video obtained by FOX 8 News is providing a glimpse into the mindset of a jail escapee, who was killed on Friday, while running from police in a stolen car.
Security cameras were rolling inside the Quik Deli in Maple Heights on Friday morning, as 34-year-old Donnie Thomas walked into the store, hours after he escaped from the Garfield Heights City Jail by overpowering a jail employee and stealing his keys.
The video reveals that sometime between his escape and his arrival at the carry-out, Thomas got his hands on a pair of shoes and a coat.
Once inside the store, he grabbed the purse of a customer at the check-out and ran out. The woman chased after him, and once outside, alerted her husband, who attempted to block the stolen car that Thomas was driving.
However, Thomas drove around the car and pulled onto Lee Road. The victim's husband continued to pursue the car, and it was a 911 call to police that alerted authorities about the description of the stolen car.
The car was later spotted near a Giant Eagle store, where Thomas was apparently trying to use the woman's credit cards.
Police pursued the car onto I-480 West, where Thomas accelerated to speeds approaching 100 miles per hour.
Officers called off their pursuit, and a short time later, discovered that Thomas lost control of the stolen car on Route 176 North, slammed into an embankment and was ejected in a fiery crash.
He was pronounced dead a short time later at MetroHealth Medical Center.
Seth Shamatta, whose family owns the Quik Deli, told FOX 8, "I had no idea about anything other than just the purse being stolen, so then we saw the news come out later and how dangerous and reckless this guy was, it was very shocking."
Shamatta says his grandfather recognized Thomas as a customer who came into the store on Wednesday night and was acting suspiciously. It was less than 48 hours later that Thomas was arrested for robbing a Walgreens store in Garfield Heights, and then escaped while he was being booked into the jail on Friday morning.
"I think that's crazy. I feel bad for the jailer that he overpowered. I think that's shocking because he came in here and he was going back and forth with my grandfather, and my grandfather asked him, 'Hey, do you need anything?' and he said, 'No, you can't help me.’”
Investigators say the car that Donnie Thomas used after his escape was stolen from a home in Maple Heights, more than two miles away from the jail in Garfield Heights.
While police were searching the neighborhood around the jail, Thomas was going door to door in Maple Heights, asking residents if they would allow him to make a phone call.
Eventually, he broke into a home on Dunham Road, and found the keys to Jasmine Johnson's car that was sitting in her driveway. Johnson told FOX 8, "That's very terrifying that he went all over the neighborhood, just terrorizing people trying to get away; that's very shocking and like I don't even feel safe in my own home."
She was stunned when police called her with the news that her car had been destroyed in the crash that killed Donnie Thomas.
"What was so wrong in your life or what was so traumatizing that you had to do these things that you did?" asked Johnson.
She says she is grateful that she and her children were not home at the time of the break-in, and that no one else was harmed in Donnie Thomas' rampage. "You did all of that just to take your own life in the end; what was the point of that?” she asked.
A GoFundMe account has been set up, if you would like to help the Johnson family.