VANDALIA, Ohio (WJW) — A man and a woman authorities said were involved in a multi-county semi chase and hostage situation early Wednesday have died, after an exchange of gunfire with Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers.
London Police Department Chief Glenn Nicol said officers had stopped the suspects’ vehicle for tail light and visible plates violations. The suspects gave fake information then sped off on U.S. Route 42 in Madison County, he said.
They came to a truck stop near Interstate 70, where they abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot through the lot. The male suspect then pointed a gun at a pursuing officer, but didn’t fire. The suspects then hijacked a parked semi truck while its driver was still inside, and continued on U.S. Route 42.
State troopers used spike strips to stop the vehicle, and the chase ended just before 3:30 a.m. near the Dayton International Airport in Montgomery County, said Lt. Nathan Dennis of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. There, the patrol’s Special Response Team and Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies spoke with the suspects and victim by cell phone “to get this to a peaceful resolution,” Dennis said. Negotiations went on for about four hours, he said.
At about 7:30 a.m., members of the patrol’s Special Response Team attempted to enter the truck and rescue the hostage. The suspects then opened fire on troopers and were injured when troopers returned fire, Dennis said.
The suspects were taken to a hospital after the shooting. At a press conference Wednesday morning, Dennis said the woman had died of her injuries, and that the man was in critical condition. FOX 8 sister station WDTN reported later Wednesday that the man also died.
The semi driver who was abducted and was inside the truck during the shooting suffered only minor injuries, Dennis said.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now analyzing the shooting, he said. It’s currently unclear how many rounds were fired, Dennis said.
The scene will continue to be closed “for quite some time” during the investigation, Dennis said.