RICHFIELD, Ohio (WJW) — Dozens of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies tracked down an armed suspect during an intense manhunt that shut down a major interstate and backed up traffic for miles for hours.
“It was like something straight out of a movie. It was bad,” said witness Dalila Ament. “My anxiety was through the roof.”
Investigators with the Ohio State Highway Patrol say this all started when the suspect pulled a firearm on an auto repair worker in Granger Township.
Troopers say they found the suspect in a semi truck pulled over in the northbound lanes of Interstate 271. According to investigators, as troopers approached him, the suspect then disconnected the commercial tractor from the trailer and sped off.
Troopers were pursuing the suspect when he hit a Richfield Township police cruiser before going off the side of the road, hitting a guardrail near State Route 303 and running into the woods, investigators say.
Heavily armed police officers, rangers and state troopers fanned out into the woods, searching for the driver who they described as “armed and dangerous.”
Motorists were asked to avoid the area near I-271 and the Ohio Turnpike in Summit County, an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson said in an email.
“It’s like, oh my gosh, what’s really going on? This is scary,” Ament said.
She and her friends were hiking in the area when officers approached them.
“They started asking if we saw a man in blue Jeans and no shirt,” said witness Joshua Camacho.
The friends rushed back to their car, which was parked near Boston Mills Road, but couldn’t leave because the interstate closure traffic was backed up for miles.
Aerial footage from SkyFox showed the tractor trailer that went off the road and ran into a guardrail.
The intense search continued for around two and a half hours and then just before 7 p.m., investigators found the suspect unconscious at the bottom of a ravine. He still had the firearm, troopers say.
He was then placed on a stretcher and taken to an area hospital. Investigators say he’s in critical condition and charges are pending.